Light Painting


Light Painting


Lesson Info

Editing: Student Images and Composites

If we look on this one here and this is a tendency that is common when you're getting started, this is when you're lighting from one side remember that you're standing on one because just feels so unnatural to walk in front of the cameras view when it's taken a picture and thinking that you're not going to show up and think so here it's all lit from one side, which could be all right he is mainly a little bright. I don't know if this was our very first test one or not, but we might be able to turn that down mainly noticed that it's a little dark in this side if we move down to this one than what once you got into going to both sides, see just how on all the other ones now you got a nice and lit up so it's that first shot where you're always figuring out my going way too bright, too dark. You know what? My lighting and it's, a throwaway it's about the first three shots where you're just trying to get a feeling for the subject, the lighting and the camera settings after the third shot, t...

hen you start going well, what I wanted to do with this thing, and yeah, here I like that front flower, all that stuff, and so like on something like this one here I don't mind this thing as a whole is just these two front flowers that feel a little bit dead but look right up here they look all right all right, so if you end up not moving your camera and not moving your subject and use a cable release so your finger when you hit the shutter is not bumping it then we could put this image that's up on top on top of this one and we could mask it so the flowers from the upper one appear in this one and then it's like you know, about we got some people feel that they need to finish their images in camera and that's just their way of working and they don't want to do anything and they're proud of saying, you know, I didn't know photoshopped, you know kind of thing and that's fine, I completely respect their ideal in the way they think it's just means that there if it's this kind of situation you're going to end up taking twelve shots before you get what you want and then you're going to have taken that one shot whereas if we do multiple exposures and we combine them together, then all of the shots we ever take can contribute to the end result and I find I can get a much more refined and result and that's why oftentimes I prefer to do that it takes more time in the the post processing part where you're on the computer so it might end up taking either the same amount of time is the person that does it all in camera or whatever, but I find that if I do it as a multiple exposure composite, I can light paint at times that otherwise wouldn't be able to like when I have a streetlight sitting right there, and it would make it so my exposure length, it needs to be two seconds. Well, good luck, like painting. All right, side's scene in two seconds, but I can get my flashlight ready, get it right on what I'm about to paint open the shutter and just paint one wheel two seconds, then do the other wheel in the other two seconds and then do the interior another two seconds and I can stack those and photoshopping combine them, and if I d'oh then it's more versatile in that I can shoot for more of the day. And if I ever screw up, I don't just throw away the whole image. He was part of another one it's up to you, how you want to think so? If you want to see a little bit of that, why don't we combine two of these let's see which ones we want to combine, so this one has the dark flowers in front but I like that the flowers up here, the top stand out from the background quite a bit, and the stems are showing up pretty good, and I think the vase looks interesting with the double light, you know, one on each side and even the shadow kind of good to directions looks interesting to my eye, but it's just me, and then we had that other one, which I think was a couple frames back where the flowers were lit nicely, so I'm going to remember then what's the what number's this number thirty two and then let's see what other one we want for that just for the front flowers. So all I'm going to look at now with the other ones is the front flowers in where the front flowers touched what's surrounding them. I don't care about the rest of the picture, so they're the one of the rights a little dark, they're they're kind of interesting in there. I don't know that that I'm going to just go for it, that one, so they have just had a little bit of light in them, but I can always take all of these things and put them together, and how many do you shoot? Do you remember those four, we'll take all four of them, so honest, selecting those images and usually I would end up adjusting them first in light room where I would adjust the exposure sliders and all that, but I don't want to complicate what we're trying to do right now by accomplishing that instead, I just want to show you the photo shop part, so I'm going to take those four images I'm going to go to the photo menu and she was ed it in and that's why I'm going to find a choice called open his layers and photo shop, and if I'm doing this instead using photo shop in bridge, I would select these images and bridge and at the top of my screen would be a choice called tools, and I would choose tools, photo shop load files into photoshopped layers. So anyway, what this is going to do a stack these images one on top of the other in photo shop, we should end up with one layer for each of the images. It'll just take a moment for it to accomplish that, and once we're done with that, we have two choices on how to combine the images together. We're going to be changing the blending mode, which is a menu found at the top of the layers panel and the two choices you can use our either lightened mode or sk screen mode, and most of the time I end up using lightning mode. On occasion I use screen for now I'm just going to pick one of you going to use lytton and later on I'll show you a little bit more about why choose between one of the other so let's find the one we liked this one was it that's the one that just needed the flowers then I'm going to find the one that has the flowers let's say that one and I'm just going to change the bloody motive topped lytton and it'll combined the two together so that I can see the other one fill in now the top images combining this much to the image but I don't like what it's doing to the yellow flower in the left so I would add a mask a mask would limit where this shows up so to add a mask you go to the bottom of the layers panel there's an icon that is a circle inside of a rectangle and if you click on that it allowed a mask watch the top layer there's your mask and now if you grab the paint brush and paint with black you can make portions of that top layer disappeared so if I hide and show it like this I'm going to paint with black everywhere except for where those flowers are and maybe some of the stems s o I'll just start paint with black wherever I paint it will remove the influence of that exposure and now let's see what that's influencing so what I ended up doing is I used load files into photoshopped layers which stacked these images then I found the images that I thought I wanted to put together and those who were the ones that I left the eyeballs on set for this bottom when it's not being used right now you can't even see it it's under there anyway to get the ones that you want to combine click on the top most one and send it to lighten mode that will have those layers combined together so that the light from one layer will influence the other and if you didn't want to use the entirety of the image then you add a mask in the way you add a mask is clicking on the icon which is a circle inside of square and paint with black with your paintbrush tool now if I toggle that layer off and back on again you can see how we we can salvage certain parts of the image from other exposures so it's pretty relatively simple process is not stack the layers change the menu and then you can paint with black so so how we doing timing wise as far as our scheduled goes we've got about ten minutes ten minutes okay cool let's look at the difference between light mode and screen mode and maybe put in a few more of these exposures to refine the results so we have light mode and screen mode that we can use and the difference is screen mode simply takes the amount of light from one exposure and adds that light to the exposure below it's a ziff you left the camera open the shutter open for the length of both exposures so let me grab two images here to show you I'll ignore the two we were just using on trying to others if we were to add the light that is in this image right here to the light that is in this image here as if we left the shutter open long enough for both exposures then this vase that's here is going to end up becoming much too bright because it's already pretty bright in the top exposure let's see what happens I'll set it to screen mode. The other choice that we have though is lightened mode in enlightened mode instead of adding the amount of light from one layer to what's underneath. What were dealing is comparing two layers. If you compare two layers it's only going to use one layer or the other layer one or the other not combining the two and it's just going to use whichever layer is brighter so let's see what happens if I change this from screen mode over to lighten mode and the end result will always be darker whenever use light mode instead of screen screen will add in some most of the time I end up using light mode because what it allows me to do is if my painting overlap the same area twice in two different shots in screen mode is going to double up the brightness there where is enlightened mode? It will pick which of the two was brighter and so I only get one of thie spills of light on it and I usually end up with something that's that is not too bright and so I tend towards using light mode let's go back to our composite and let's see how we might be able to improve it more uh I'm going to take the other two exposures that we hadn't gotten in there yet I'm going to move him to the top of the layers panel at the top layers pal I'm gonna make sure they sent a lightning mode turning on one at a time and I'm just going to side is there any part of this layer that I'd like to use? And when I look at this and just talking off and back on again on the right side, I see a yellow flower that's sticking out and I like um that's getting a little bit brighter there if you guys like that or not, but like that at the very top left the orange flower there gets a little bit more light spilled on it and I don't know, maybe if I want any of the stems, I don't know um it's just you end up seeing is there any way, any place where you like with this layer is doing to the image and if so, that's what I'm going to mask so that we end up using that area now there's a trick when you add a mask if you just click on the mask icon he's going to give you a white mask in a white mask how's that applying to the entire pick? The trick is you could hold on the option key all time windows and click on the mask icon and if you do he's going to give you a black mask in a mask, black means don't affect the image don't allow this layer to show up at all, so if I start off with a black mask, then I can paint with white and just paint in wherever I liked the look of this what this exposure did to my image and I think I liked it right here writing that up a little bit in this flower up here, I'm not sure if I like the stems or not I can paint it in and I can always choose undo if I didn't like it, I'll choose undo that that's drawing too much attention to the stems for my eye go to the next layer, I can turn its eyeball on and off and see if there's any area where I like what it's doing? Maybe I like that long shadow across the table if you want a dramatic I don't know, but I'm looking at mainly at the vase and flowers stems on the right side are interesting and in the middle just talk going on and off and saying is anything alike, maybe the stems, then at a black mask by holding on the option ultima windows click and I can come in with my brush and paint in maybe where the stems are if it's too much if after painting an end like that brighten up the stems too much, I'll make sure that layers active and I'll go the top of my layers panel click on the word opacity and I'll bring it all the way down you just click right on the word no need to deal with the number, drag it down and then slowly bring it up to see how much of that do I want, if any and I don't know it's a little too, even when it's up, so maybe at fifty five percent now if you'd like to see the difference between what we started with what we're ending with, I'm going to hide all the layers except for the bottom one and I could do that quickly by movie my mouse onto the eyeball for the bottom layer. I can hold on the option key, and I can click there years before that's a single exposure and here's adding in the influence of the others. Now you still have the full use of federal shop available, so you can use adjustment layers to brighton and dark and things and other things you're not limited in using just thes, and sometimes what also do is we'll add a new layer on top of the layers stack just an empty one to create an empty layer. You click on the icon to the left of the trash, the bottom of your layers, and sometimes I'll just grab black to paint with we'll get a big, soft brush and I zoom out of my picture to zoom out. I do command minus that's control minus and windows huge brush, and I just come in here and darken the edges. I'm just painting with black with a soft brush because it's just a personal thing with me, I don't know usually like the edges of my frame to be overly bright personal choice, though you might like the brightness on the edge, I just find I want to keep people in my photo as long as I can. Might get even in larger brush large brush means softer edge and I could lower the opacity so I don't get one hundred percent of the black maybe only put in twenty percent just come in here and go dark in that tracking that then I'll put my brush back up to one hundred to the last timei next time I use it, it won't mess me up that I had it down real low so let's see what that did to it. I'll turn off the top layer, which just has black paint in it. You see, I was just trying to keep you in the middle not everybody likes, you know, it's just I often do it with mine, okay? So hopefully that gives you a sense for at least a simple composite. The main key is you can't move that camera can't move that subject and it's best to use the cable release because even using your finger to release it could move your camera a little bit and you gotta be real careful if you're walking back and forth, you don't bump anything, so all right, I think that's good enough for now. What? Uh, all right, what would you like to do next? Well, it is lunchtime she ask a couple questions time just one, just one or two questions I wanted to ask les w photos, question she's in the lounge, and she had asked, has been ever paint with a flame, as if from a lighter and circling a person with it, so it shows up as a flame. Does that work? I have not used the flame of a lighter, usually a flame of a lighter is relatively short. What I have used is what's called poi poi is what fire spinners use. I have a friend that does that, and I have shot her while she's spinning, and if she's spinning her point to do that, that, um, that gives me an interesting kind of what I call like graffiti, which is like a streak of light, but if I make it dark enough, where I can actually tell it's, a flame where it doesn't look like a solid white shape coming around instead it looks like flaming orange stuff, then they don't look all that bright, and so I might need to grab a flashlight or a flash real quick and light them haven't really like let's subjects, though I'm close with things like a lighter have done sparklers in all sorts of other things, but it sounds like a nice, interesting thing to explore. You have to make sure exposures pretty dark, though, so the flame doesn't show his white maybe one more from mg hewitt. Do you have any tips for light painting, urban buildings where there is an abundance of ambient light? I'm assuming still at night, or with with this method just not work? It depends how much ambient light there is in that would be the instance of the example I had here of this image that's, the most recent one where there was a good amount of ambient light, and so I had to do multiple exposures, because the length of exposure in order to keep here he is that I want to paint dark was very brief. So this little thing is something that concerns lied into the hot shoe of my camera, and the only reason it's in the hot shoe is so it's not dangling off your camera. It's not actually communicating with camera through that, then there's a cable in this plugs into where cable release would go, and then I have a transmitter that I can use in this way. If I press this button, it takes the picture in that way, I don't have to go over to the cable release each time to release it, and I could be in the scene with my flashlight, all ready to light, I just hit the button, light what I want when the exposure started ends in if I have this, it makes it much easier to work in an environment that has some ambient light because I could be exactly where I need to be to do thee each little area to light and it might end up only doing two second maybe sometimes even one second exposures do this light what I need to automatically shuts off and so I end up figuring out what is the exposure that minimizes the ambient light the most and sometimes that's really brief because of that and then I really have to do multiple exposures light each area and combined them like I just showed you. So yes, I do that quite a bit. And can you quickly say the brand of that again? This is photo ticks ph no no fanatics p h o t t I x and on my web site I have a gear section well, here I sit. My website is digital mastery dot com digital mastery uh in on digital mastery dot com is a tab called resource is and when you click on resource is you will find a little banner that says gear list or gear guide or something like that and it lists all the gear that I used to use the phone it'll list the flashlights I use the cameras lenses all that stuff and it will list the exact model number of this stuff now I'm not endorsing this thing mean, I'm not saying this is the greatest. All I did was go to one of the largest retailers online that might be located in the city by chance, and searched for the name of my camera. At the time. It was a five demark, too, in the word wireless trigger. And then I looked at all the reviews to see who you know this one. Soccer. It is, people like it, and I looked for one feature, and that was a feature that can allow you to his bulb mode, because some of these are just a simple button and you can only hit it, and it triggers it. This one has a setting for bulb mode, where if I turn it on to that the first time I hit it, it's, the quinto, holding the button down and keeping it down in the second time I hit it. It releases it, and so that's. One feature that I like about this one.

Class Description

You can create amazing images with light painting, and Ben Willmore is going to show you how! Making light trails, highlighting parts of your image, crazy spiral effects--all the fun secrets of light painting will be yours in this special 1-day workshop! Ben will show you how to use everyday light sources to make striking images, as this is a technique that doesn't require a lot of equipment. If you have a tripod and a flashlight, you can light paint, and Ben is going to show you how!