Light painting: Experimenting with sparklers, steel wool and a glowing ball
My friend Jeff and I spent some time experimenting with different light sources last night. Generally referred to as light painting, this is an area of photography that is drawing a lot of people’s creative energy right now. We confirmed how much fun this can be both to photograph and to play with the light. We wanted to play around with some of the common tools and see how they worked in practice. We took turns being the subject (and consequently light-wielder) – Jeff presented great symmetry in his movements which created interesting imagery. By the end, we had learned some things, definitely had fun and now we’re scheming about the images we really want to create.
Note: If you want to see this images larger you can visit this web gallery on my website.
A chaotic globe traced out by a sparkler
This suggested one of the dark creatures from the fantasy genre. For those who may have played Dungeons & Dragons, this seemed like a Nightshade to me.
Gloves with green, red and blue lights on the fingertips allowed Jeff to trace out arcs that reminded me a little bit of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man drawing .
The photographs are presented in reverse chronological order (because the fiery ones look so cool so I wanted to put them up first). However, we approached this session with a measure of sanity and worked up from this glowing ball (one of the many balls in my children’s collective inventory) to the more exciting (read: burning) props. The image above is one of the first in the shoot where I was looking at ambient light in the area, the brightness of the ball and what flash added to (or detracted from) the scene.
The ball illuminates with red and blue LEDs that alternate creating purple tones in a long exposure. When Jeff was looking at the ball here it was hard not to be reminded of Gollum and “My Precious” from The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings.
Definitely my favourite photograph of the evening was with the sparks carving out lines of light. I converted it to black and white below and that changes the image in a different but, to me, equally interesting manner.