How to do this light paint style?

Discussion in 'Photo Assignments & Technical Challenges' started by co22wen, May 5, 2012.

  1. co22wen
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    co22wen New Member

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  2. rokvi
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    rokvi New Member

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    Tripod and longer exposure (shutter speed)
  3. co22wen
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    co22wen New Member

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    i knoq but i usually just get like a regular line.. >_< do you think that its possible that there are alot of people that worked on this?
  4. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I believe that whoever did the sparkler trails was wearing all-black clothing AND black gloves. Seriously. One of the keys in this kind of shot is the ISO used, in conjunction with the specific lens aperture. The brightness of the sparkler creates its own image; if the ISO value is too low, like say ISO 50, then the sparkler's light creates a weak, dim, and under-exposed image. If the ISO value is too high, like say 3,200 or even 1,600, then the sparkler's light will crete a pale, washed-out, over-exposed image.

    Same goes for the lens aperture used; see how in the background there appears to be some color (light) in the night sky??? That's a clue that this shot was done just minutes after twilight had come, but not yet in full, total black of night; let's say 5-10 minutes before FULL darkness.

    As when photographing fireworks rockets, there needs to be a balance between the brightness of the firework [sparkler in this case], and the f/stop and ISO used. TOO high of an ISO setting and too wide of an aperture means a washed-out, dull, lifeless pale light yellowish color that looks bad. Let's just say, start at ISO 250 at 30 seconds at f/8 as a generalized beginning point. Use DAYLIGHT white balance and NOT automatic white balance. A tripod is needed, obviously. Have the sparkler holder dressed in dark clothes, and always moving.

    If you are ending up with just "a regular line" and not a nice, rich shower of sparks, that means that the ISO level is too low, and/or the lens aperture is too small (like say f/16). To make the sparkler's sparks stronger, the ISO value needs to go UPWARD. The time the shutter is open allows for movement of the sparkler across the picture area, and it NEEDS to be at LEAST 10 seconds. The thing is the time the shutter is open is NOT controlling the rendering of the sparkler!!!! The shutter time in this kind of shot is controlling ONLY how much movement can be captured.
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  5. SCraig
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    SCraig Well-Known Member

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    Exactly as Derrel has said. I love to shoot fireworks and the tendency is always to overexpose them. It's natural, since it's night, to think you need a lot more aperture or ISO than is really necessary. I normally shoot fireworks at f/16 or f/18, ISO 400, and about 3 to 4 seconds. If the background is completely black the exposure length is really unimportant up to a point.
  6. co22wen
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    co22wen New Member

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    hey thank you so much Derrel i will try this out once i get a sparkler. and yeah im pretty sure they used a sparkler because the person that took this is a wedding photographer. anyways thank you so much.
  7. shab
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    shab New Member

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    You definitely going to need a tripod and a shutter release cable (if you’re doing it alone) to do this kind of a trick. Keep your shutter speed very low, and your ISO low. Better if you wear black clothes when you’re doing this and make sure the background is not completely dark. You have to take several shots till you get the best ISO and shutter speed combination.
  8. Tony S
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    Tony S New Member

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    Tripod, long shutter, and your subjects kept moving so they were not exposed and clearly visible in any one spot. There are a few spots where you can see the ghosting of the person moving the sparklers.

    I did something somewhat similar with kids holding lighted plastic tubes.

    1.

    [​IMG]

    ...
  9. Buckster
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    Buckster New Member

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    Here's something similar I shot a while back:

    [​IMG]

    I set the scene with camera @ ISO 100, on a tripod, pre-focused to the center of where I'd make the orb, and set to bulb, then took my place in front of the camera at my 'mark #1', where I'd pre-focused, triggered the shutter by remote, and began the making of the photo. During the 176 second exposure, I performed the making of the orb using LED's wrapped in orange gels, with small holes that allowed the LED's to peek through to capture their blue light from certain angles. When the orb was complete, I went to my pre-arranged 'mark #2' to pose with the imaginary orb, and remote triggered two speedlights - one between the two trees on the right side of the composition to serve as a main and to help with the illusion that I'm being lit by the orb, and the other to camera left to help fill the scene and light the bark.

    While making the orb, I'm basically standing right in the center of it, working the lights around in circles to create it. Then I shut off those lights, put them away behind a tree, walked over to where I knelt down, and fired the speedlights, all in the dark of night so you can't see me or my movements during that time.

    Here's a test shot I took while working out how to make the shot above:

    [​IMG]

    Again, I'm in the center of the orb, making it. Then I walked the light toward the camera, waving it back and forth along the ground as I advanced. I'm moving and not lit up myself though, so you don't see me because in relation to the long time of the exposure, I'm moving through the scene like The Flash - too fast to see.
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
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