Mornings at Radium’s Sinclair Canyon
My family spent a few days in Radium at the end of March. I had not been that way since last fall. Driving through the Sinclair Canyon’s narrow opening into the Columbia Valley this time, the steep rock walls grabbed my attention.
I went there early on three of the four mornings to play with those solid forms. Lights from passing traffic traced bright lines through the long exposures.
The last morning was the earliest I arrived – a little after 4am. I had some ideas for images with star trails through the gap in the canyon. The clouds were not supportive of those ideas. I watched them knit together and block the night sky as I was setting up. Those ideas will get another chance later this spring I think.
Christmas lights at home
30 second exposure at f/6.3 on ISO 200. Canon 5D3 camera and a 24mm lens.
Returning from a walk with my hound last night, I decided to take a photograph of the Christmas lights before I take them down this weekend. The first image was just the scene as it is and I found it a bit bland. In the second, I kept the shutter open longer so that I could run around with a blue glow stick to light paint in some stars. A little bling added to the scene made it a bit more fun.
Light painting with glow sticks
After a great evening with another family who came over for dinner, we enjoyed having some time playing around before bed. Kian and Kezia had a bunch of glow sticks that they connected together and swung around in the dark. We had a lot of fun tracing out crazy patterns during a series of long exposures.
Abstracts from LA’s freeways
I spent a bit of time as a passenger traversing the interstate freeways that wind through, over and around Los Angeles during our visit there last week. Along the way, my twitchy camera finger got the best of me and I ended up getting pulled into the patterns and chaos realized with the help of longer exposures.
I like playing around to see what can be created as the landscape slides by. With dusk falling in, the warm light played well with the colours in the signs and the vehicles. Lot’s to play with, not much time to do it though. It makes it easy to not get stuck on any one subject! I do really like trying to compose at speed and imagine how the image will look.
When we exited onto the Pacific Coast Highway, which is more like a city street than a highway, the speeds slowed down which allowed for more intentional image making in a way. I liked the sunset image above but grew bored and introduced camera movements to create crazy lines from the lights standing out now against the dark surroundings. Things started out relatively controlled but then…
… things got a little more wild before the ride ended.
We caught the last light on the west coast from our balcony overlooking Aliso Beach.
We had another play with night shooting the other night. This time we were under a highway overpass with cameras on a service road and the fire spinner up the concrete support that angles up to the bridge. A good spot as there was only concrete and muddy road, offering stray sparks very little opportunity. Click the picture for a small gallery of images from the shoot.
It was a great time thanks to my friends who joined me in shooting and spinning.
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.