Shoot: Light Painting a Person


Light Painting


Lesson Info

Shoot: Light Painting a Person

Well, why don't we go to ah, human subject? Because we have to think a little bit about that anybody want to get, like, painted over the studio? Why don't you come in? Have a seat? And you got to think about a few things when shooting people? The first thing is, if you're going to do a long exposure this thirty seconds long and you told himto hold still, their idea of what still means is kind of, like holds in a similar position to what you started, you know? And if you're doing this, their hand is going to be moving and they're not going to think they are, but they're going to be moving. So ideally, when you shoot people, you want to make it so their hands are not extended away from their body or if they are, they have something to rest their hand on. So if I'm gonna have me like this, I'm going to put my hand on something in that way, they could hold still a lot mohr unless they've been a subject before, where they really know this, because if you're going to do one, that is a compos...

ite, then they don't realize that if they move the tiniest amount that it's not going to fit together. So, john, can you make sure this is set up for the tethering thing or if it's mike, it looks like you could do it? I just wanna make sure we do that before we start shooting. So anyway, that's, why it's good to start on something like a chair? Ah, sofa or something that's going to support them? The other thing is, when you come in with a flashlight and go around somebody it's natural, if you have a flashlight in his point in their eyes, for somebody to squint where to move or do anything else, and so you need to prep them ahead of time to just let him know I'm sorry I'm gonna have to blind you a little bit. I'll try not to do it too much and at least then they don't turn their head or something when you do it and also I like their face first if you light another part of their body first, then the issue is that by the time you get to their face in like twenty five to thirty seconds, they can have a really dull look on their face before I get in this john you would you mind recompose ing with this and just focusing just to make sure we're relatively tight, not over tight on it? Thank you, uh, so anyway you can get a blank stare on their face or just a weird look if you started their feet lighting and then by the time you come up here, they're just kind of, you know, looking weird, so what can be most ideal is if you get a little bitty light source like a little red led and put it somewhere in the room to give them something to look at and so I'd put like I don't have one handy, but but a little red led somewhere and say, look over at this when I'm shooting and then give them some idea to have in their head and act like you're looking at your child or if that's a positive or negative thing, you know what? Try to find something that will get them so they have something going on in their head and they're looking at particular particular spot and so little ready led placed far away is something it gets, um easily go look somewhere and then try to give him an idea of what to think of uh warn them you're going to blind them also so they have to hold as still as a statue being not just slightly still and the problem was saying that is then sometimes people get into these really awkward poses, so you have to work with a little bit so many different ways of doing the lighting and we can either go for something that looks more normal injustice selectively lit or we could go for something that's much more stylistic that's going to be determined by how far away you hold the flashlight from your subject. And so usually I found just from experience, even if I'm going for a stylistic look most the time I light the face from further away because it's your image, the success or failure of your image could be determined by can you tell who it is? You know, in their face? Or if there's a completely black spot around one eye around a mouth or something, sometimes it looks a little odd, so that's why I like my face from a little further away, then if I wanted more stylistic look, I can get up close and paint over I'd like you can do the face also stylistically, just probably on the second try not the first. All right, john, can you get us at just try at sixteen? I have so we were at fifty before, but I think we can probably do one hundred don't we do one hundred right now because the last thing we did was the string of lights behind the thing and we wanted it to be more sensitive s so we got the focus of all been sixteen and focused bald sixteen or focused good so we're at f sixteen were involved mode so I control the length of the exposure using this and why don't we get the lights turned out and yeah it's getting nice and dark in here I like that this is what it should have been like when we started this morning you know, ideally, this is much more like light painting life whereas this morning I could've read a book in here so all right, so I'm just gonna do a quick test exposure and when I do the test I'm not like your face and let her relax and just hang out so let me see if my, uh, thing is still set up toe work just doing a test open closed. All right? I'm just going to see how bright that is. All I did was lighter legs let's take a moment for to come up all right um I might actually want it a little darker. Um do you mind going to have twenty two thank you. All right. Um now let's see here, why don't you make us your hands are quite together maybe like, yeah, you go uh maybe let your left arm come down and touch the edge of the share something um yeah, just so it's not, you know, overly symmetrical there and for you see, you could probably look thie apple yet we have an apple logo over there and think pleasant thoughts knowing that I'm going blind you a little bit and when I do tried teo keep somewhat still when I'm done lighting your face you can relax your face well that is when I'm done letting your face in hair when I start lighting your arms on your body you could relax but that doesn't mean you should move your neck a lot or things like that just means you don't have to stay looking like a zombie kind of thing you know vice theory but okay, you ready? All right, so I'm just gonna open the shutter light her face first from far away get some hair and then if I want to get creative I could come in close my flashlight just quit I could reach right around her is long as I do not block the camera's view whatever it is I'm lighting and let's see we got might be a little bit light on her face is that in that sense we changed to have twenty two it with darker okay she's showing up. But do you see how on her body there shady areas that's? Because of how close I was holding the flashlight in this flashlight, I put new batteries in it before we got started and I kind of wish I didn't because I want to be able to a little closer with it do we have any snuff oil nearby yes oh someone moved it it was on the okay it's on the stamp on the floor by the fan okay just gonna grab cinna foil and put it around my flashlight your news all right now I can create something that is not round deformity whatever shape I want and that will allow me to create a more creative look on her legs and arms and everything else will try to keep her face looking relatively normal now so if I look at the light that could come out of this flashlight now you see how it's not round and so if I'm going around her and I distort this while I'm going around to do various areas he won't be as well to find so let's try it out still gonna light her face further away and it might open up the seine if oil so it's a relatively large area for her face and right when I'm done with your face I'll squish it to get it to come down all right look at the apple again ready and now I'm gonna squish it down get the other side she's wearing black and black is hard to light so if you have any black areas spend more time on them I might be seeing all your light from here you might hear we'll find out here in a second but it should be much more stylistic was done because of how I let it do you see that sent a foil lets you shape your flashlight don't mind me to get you guys pieces of it before you go unfortunately comes in a roll so if you ever had a photo shoot like a big photo shoot and you a big studio and you see them with roll a cinephile just walk out say he kind of just a piece of that because all you need is like a foot long piece but it comes in a what is it twenty five foot, five foot roll? Yeah, yeah you don't know need twenty five feet so looking at this image I see that I could make her face brighter I could light her face from more than one direction and I could give her the cool it to a hair light which would be lighted her from behind where harris on a bunch of other things. The main thing with people is it's difficult to do composites because they move in so the people I'll try to get things relatively good in a single shot makes sense some people are good with composites but it's not overly typical, so uh let's try another one ready open unfortunate this flashlight is not easy to turn on it off that's my biggest complaint about the cinema in a vote bolt is learn how to make an on off switch like the black just leave it on terrible the on off switching that think it's a nice flashlight overall light puts out the power and all that you on off switch though you have to be he man tio operate with your thumb but if you like this close where you're in the scene lighting, you're going to get more of the painterly look if I didn't want a painterly look and I wanted to just look unevenly lit I could come in and simply light it from outside the scene you're gonna have much softer light so I got my finger in there I know I just know there's gonna be much less painterly that might have been a mistake we'll see what we got so before and after it's yeah it's a little different but each one is gonna look completely different it's a matter of experimenting now I can see over here in this area you can see the edge of my flashlight and things and see there my hand I commonly put my hand over the front of the flashlight to block it really should have a black glove if I'm gonna do that otherwise taken back like my hand, you know which is just going to make it a glowing thing but as long as that's not happening where it overlaps her body that's something I can easily get rid of in photo shop and with this if I go over here to develop I didn't do a custom white balance so I could warm her up you know make possibly make her look a lot better really depends but there are all sorts of things we could do it now the background looks really boring doesn't so most of the time I do not have a black backdrop unless I have an object that I'm laying on the floor and I want to disappear if I want to get something where it has a creative background it's just like we did with the scooter think of what kind of light source might you be able to use back there the other day we used something to do an orb well let's see what else I can come up with on my main flashlight they sell einstein my main flashlight right here they sell policeman's cone like if you want to be a air traffic controller with your flashlight if I can fit it in there though my snow makes it hard to tash let's see what we get out of it or you can get um close sticks I have two different colored elektronik glow sticks back here and all right, I got two of them john yeah would you mind helping my s o setting shirt right now, are we on l or one hundred one hundred? Uh, if we're at one hundred, why don't you bring it up to four hundred done done yet? And I need to find my wireless trigger. Do you mind being my trigger big button on top? These are elektronik glow sticks. You could get the normal kind of glow sticks that you know you have you crack in half and then you shake in the globe. It's just they only last so long and you go and get him in so many colors. These are electronic ones. I wish I could find simple ones. This one includes on the end of whistle and on the opposite end. Of course they had to put in a flashlight and then to turn it off you can't just hit it once because you have flashlight glow stick you hit it and it's going toe flash and it's going to do all sorts of stuff so you can't just turn on and off, which is the biggest pain eso not my most ideal setup, but these are extremely cheap. And if you asked where I got them, it means I saw them at a checkout lane of some store. This was probably the grocery store, you know how where they put the magazines and they put the gum and everything else attempt to you well, if you go to like a home depot like store will tempt you with this kind of stuff, so just watch out for it when you're there, all right, let's, see if we get anything back drop now. She's moved ahead, though, so the outline of where head is, which would usually be a silhouette in this shot, won't perfectly lined up with the other one. I knew I was going to do this. I wouldn't have told her she could relax her head's quite as much. Okay, all I'm going to do is this. See, what I'm doing is this look hard. This doesn't look all that interesting, but watch what it looks like in a long exposure. John, why don't you open open, close, let's, see what we get looks pretty wild. I find that if I use just one color and actually have my exposure higher, where it's brighter. If you get used to moving this, it could almost look like fire. Uh, but we could get a different kind of background.

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!



Really cool class so far. Just wanted something to get some inspiration and this is fun class but it's gonna force you to exercise. I don't work for creative live but I don't have to say that the quality of the few classes I've just started in photography is very good. I once was a professional photographer and I've taken lots of live classes and I feel the value of these is good. I am looking forward to watching the Clay Blackmore class.


This course was a lot of fun and the instructor was an excellent teacher. I was able to go out and start light painting right away. Highly recommend this class if you are interested in this type of photography.