Light Painting Photo Shoot

Light Painter

Here are light painting photos I shot last weekend Saturday afternoon with model Molly. It was a fun experimental shoot trying different effects to create unique portraits. I was very pleased how the photos came out and Molly is an excellent model. This is the first time I used my home-made
and DIY design four foot LED light stick with a model, other than testing on myself and our cats.

For this shoot I turned my garage into a make-shift temporary studio with a black background and all light blocked out. At first I thought I could do this shoot outside at night, but after some experiments I found neighbor's lights, the street lamp, and the weather made it less than optimal and  not controlled.

I mounted a Cactus V5 radio trigger on my LED light stick for triggering both the camera shutter and LED stick, starting the LED display just after the shutter opens. While the shutter was open, I moved the LED light stick behind or to side of Molly. Before the shutter closed, two portable strobe flashes were triggered, one for the key light and another for fill light. Shoot through umbrellas softened the light from both flashes. I varied the exposure time from 8 to 15 seconds depending on the image size displayed by the LED light stick. For the camera aperture I used  either F11 or F13 with manual focus. The images displayed by the stick had to be modified to have low gamma, because the LEDs are too bright without adjustments at these F-stops.

Adobe Lightroom processed the raw Nikon images from this shoot and used Photoshop Elements for editing.

Reflecting on this successful shoot, I can see ways to improve the results. Looking forward to more light painting shoots.

Holding the Flag

Flower Power

The Scream
Background light from painting by Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893.

Cat in the Studio

Flag Stars

Random Colors

Rainbow Twirl