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Have you ever tried “light painting?”

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
My brother Noel recently got a beautiful new Nikon digital camera, and a couple of weeks ago, I went with him to try it out on some night shots at an old grain silo complex.

Why an old grain silo, you may ask? Well, Noel and I both have a fascination with old, deteriorating buildings.... the eeriness and mystery of abandoned places. We shot at an old cemetery that night, too, but this grain silo was actually scarier!

Anyway, we tried a technique called light painting, where you leave the shutter open for minutes at a time and use a strobe (sometimes with a colored gel) to blast light onto selected areas of the scene... or put a gel over a flashlight and “paint†an area with light just as you would paint it with a brush!

You can create some really cool effects this way. Here’s my favorite of the shots Noel took that first night:



To get the blue light under the tin roof, Noel simply walked right into the shot and fired off a blue-gelled strobe several times – but because he never stayed still, his own image was never captured by the camera.

While Noel was busy doing the strobes, I took a red-gelled high-intensity flashlight and painted the long fill pipe that angles down from the silo -- so that’s my huge contribution to the shot, and I want full credit for it!

A week after we did this test run, Noel went to San Francisco for a few days and got some truly amazing night shots in the city, at some abandoned military sites in the Bay area, and at an old resort hotel out in the desert east of there. Here’s his Flickr page if you’d like to see:

http://flickr.com/photos/nkerns/

Has anyone else ever done special-effects photography? I’d love to see your pictures!
post #2 of 24
I never have, but that is definately an awesome photo!
post #3 of 24
I just had a look at your brother's photos. I would LOVE to follow him around while he took the photos - the locations are amazing! I can't decide which one is my favourite! He is so good at this - is he a professional photographer?
post #4 of 24
We actually have. Just not the same kind! That is a GREAT pic!
We used a dark room and a LED flashlight. here were the results. Its only sit on 4 second exposure.


Its fun
post #5 of 24
Wow Carol that fill pipe looks excellent!!!

WHat a talented brother you have ..... I looked all through his work ..... just beautiful!!! I love photography, although I am not one, I very much enjoy looking at other peoples art.

I have never heard of light painting though ..... very nice!!
post #6 of 24
Wow, he's got some AMAZING shots in his gallery! I wish I was that good, those are spectacular!
post #7 of 24
I wish I could take photos like that!
post #8 of 24
What a great technique! I hadn't heard of it before. I'd love to get more creative (one day, one day...)

I looked through your bro's work - just wonderful!

Thanks for sharing.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Jordi, those are very nice! That's similar to the technique Picasso used in a famous photograph once -- he drew a bull in mid-air, I think it was. Now I want to try something like that myself!

Thank you all for looking at the site -- I'm pretty proud of my little brother. He's not a professional photographer, though... he's a professional musician. We were talking just today about how much fun it would be if he can make a living playing music and taking pictures!

Of all the shots on his website, the one that really blows me away is taken at the ruins of the Sutro Baths -- the one called "Stairway To Nowhere." The colors in that one, and the ghostly glow of the rock out in the water... wow. I keep telling him he could sell posters of that like hotcakes!
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Jordi, those are very nice! That's similar to the technique Picasso used in a famous photograph once -- he drew a bull in mid-air, I think it was. Now I want to try something like that myself!

Thank you all for looking at the site -- I'm pretty proud of my little brother. He's not a professional photographer, though... he's a professional musician. We were talking just today about how much fun it would be if he can make a living playing music and taking pictures!

Of all the shots on his website, the one that really blows me away is taken at the ruins of the Sutro Baths -- the one called "Stairway To Nowhere." The colors in that one, and the ghostly glow of the rock out in the water... wow. I keep telling him he could sell posters of that like hotcakes!
I was just wondering, would he be willing to sell any pictures? I would love to get one of his photos printed on canvas. I think they are stunning.
post #11 of 24
His photographs are absolutely beautiful! Wow!
post #12 of 24
That's an amazing photo, really love it! I understand the interest in crumbling buildings - they have a fascination of their own besides what you can caputure on film! This thread has reminded me that I really ought to practice with a non-digital SLR, I used to enjoy doing that
post #13 of 24
that looks coooooool,
i will have to try that sometime!!
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwideus View Post
I was just wondering, would he be willing to sell any pictures? I would love to get one of his photos printed on canvas. I think they are stunning.
Oh gosh, I'm sure he'd be delighted to! I've been encouraging him to get set up to do that, and he did have a 20x30 print made today to see how it would turn out. I haven't seen it yet, but he said it was a little too light -- so he needs to tweak the file a bit to make sure the prints come out at the right brightness level.

Here's a link to the page where he books himself as a musician:

www.noelkerns.com

You can email him from there and arrange to buy a print OR have him play at your birthday party -- or heck, why not both?
post #15 of 24
Oh this is a topic for me I love crumbling buildings,have done since I "discovered" an old war bunker when I was a kid gas masks and shells too

I like the idea of that technique for taking photos at night I will try that next time im out and about and see how they turn out and Ill post them here if theyre any good.

Your brothers pics are excellent I like the one of the steps to the derelict pool,I like the atmosphere in that one
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami View Post
Wow Carol that fill pipe looks excellent!!!
Ha! Thankya, thankya verra mush...
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Oooh, where was this bunker? Tell us more!
post #18 of 24
That's really neat!!!
post #19 of 24
When I took photography in college, I did some light painting using my niece, nephew, and some sparklers. They enjoyed it and the instructor liked my efforts.

My dad did some with a flashlight, mirror, and colored lenses and the effects are like working with a Spirograph.
post #20 of 24
Wow!!! Very amazing!!!
post #21 of 24
I had a look at all of your brother's photo's. All I can say is, He's brilliant. He could sell his work, easily, and to be honest I think he needs to get an art agent and start showing his work in Art Galleries. His photo's are works of art.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Oooh, where was this bunker? Tell us more!
Oh there are loads of them dotted around the uk,They were built to defend the canals from german bombings because the canals were the only life line for food and supplys to fight the germans from the USA to England after the nazis walked over france and europe.There are more(I think) on the west coast of England because of the threat the nazis posed from Ireland(The merchant ships had to go around Ireland to reach our ports and the irish were (Neutral)
but still there could have been an invasion from irland by the Nazis...god can I go on...

Anyway the bunker I discovered I dont know if its still there because they built a bypass right through that area about 9 years ago and I havent been back to see if its still there but now I will make a point of checking
post #23 of 24
Very cool! I loe photography, and love taking pictures, but have absolutely no knack for it, as supported by any photograph I've taken.
post #24 of 24
Those are some AWESOME pictures! He is not professional? He should be! Those are great!
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