Light Painting

Lesson 11/19 - Shoot: Scooter Composite


Light Painting


Lesson Info

Shoot: Scooter Composite

So what I'd like to do is shoot an object where I'm thinking about compositing where that's my mindset where is here out in the field I was just talking about light painting because we hadn't really started the class hadn't had introduction and things, so I just had to do something, but what if I know for a fact that I'm doing this on going to composite it because I want the most control then sometimes I think a little bit differently when I'm in the field so there's all sorts of things that I could dio and we're going to do it here with the scooter there's a few things I'm going to change in our set up well so far we've been using a cable release on the camera and we've been doing twenty or thirty second exposures but instead I'm going to go back to the camera have already removed the cable release in what I've replaced it with is a wireless trigger. The wireless trigger is in the hot shoe of the camera right now and it's little cable is hooking into the same place where my cable rele...

ase would usually go and I'm also I know I'm going to do short exposures because I don't need thirty seconds to isolate little areas of the scooter and I don't wanna wait for the shutter of exposure to end I want to be able to do relatively rapid shooting now, this is something where you're not gonna be able to see every shot that I take because the amount of time it takes to transfer it over could be considerable. And in fact, what I think I might do just for the sake of you guys because it takes a while to transfer the images over, I might change the camera to shoot j peg just as well be a smaller file to send over that, all right with you guys and that way, if I can remember where the heck the setting is, I can it's that one setting that you never change. If you're a shooter, I got it, I will shoot a medium j peg so that that way they should transfer relatively rapidly, so you guys can see him. I would usually continue shooting raw because with rai can adjust the image a lot more so than with the j pay, but if I do a large raw file and I start shooting rapidly, it's going, you're only going to see about every tenth frame s o we got that I've pre focus the lens already when we were at break and the reason I am this far away, I know if you can see on what angle you have, but I'm far away from the scooter and the only reason for that is so that our backdrop khun fill the frame most the time if I was shooting this outside which is when I usually like paint I don't usually have to think about a background is the first time of like painted on the backdrop that things like this the only thing I usually use if anything is black velvet I just throw it on the floor and put whatever I want to shoot on it if I want the background disappear in the field though I'm usually shooting at night when it's really dark out in the if I just don't like the background it won't show up here we gotta get a good amount of light coming in the window still and so we needed to take some extra measures so camera I'm going to switch it from manual mode toe bulb mode in bulb mode the length of the exposure is determined by how long you hold down the shutter my wireless trigger I made sure it had a feature for bold mode just gotta hit this one little button a few times until it's involved mode and I'm going to test it I should press it the first sign and it should open but it's not that stolen self timer yes it isthe so it might open it about ten seconds uh dr okay we got it out of self timer now let's see if it opens ok press it again and it closes okay, so now although even with that we're back at half eleven though, and I also one hundred somehow are setting out a little around there when it just took that short of a frame I could easily see it in fact, I think the reason is way have video still on so anyway I got the camera set up in general I'm gonna have to test my aperture setting because some of the light that was hitting the windows might have cut down now, but this is set up for bald mode if I press it, it will open the shutter, press it again it'll close it to find bald mode on your camera if it's certain canon cameras it'll be on the same area where you switch between modes like manual aperture priority and so on they'll just be the choice of b for bulb if that's not where you find it then instead set your camera to manual mode in manual mode, take your shutter speed and make it a longer and longer exposure until you hit the limit, which is thirty seconds if you go one click past thirty seconds, it will change the letter b unless you have a really, really lowing camera that doesn't have that setting it all, but those are the two methods for getting too bold mode either you find it with your normal modes like apple tree priority and such we're going manual mode in set your shutter speed toe one over thirty seconds, one step over that. So I'm just going, teo, do a quick test now that we have less light coming in here does feel a little bit darker. I'm not sure if I'm gonna have to shoot at f twenty two anymore. I'm going to try what I usually shoot on, which is f eleven, and I'm just going to see how bright things are. Also, I'm going to switch to the flashlight that I don't usually switching from the one I use outside all the time to a smaller one more like the flashlight you would buy if you just went to the store, I'm gonna open my shutter and I'm just going to paint some light and I'm going to see how bright is this? All right? I'm not used to shooting tethered usually I'm in the field and it'd be inconvenient to have a laptop, and so we're just trying to get light room set up here because it got set up differently to show us the capture. So is it showed up? Is it set up now to show the capture? And I just need to shoot another frame he's he's working behind you, okay, he's working out in the other room. Anyway that'll take a moment teo get it so you can see the image what I saw when I saw it is it looks fine the background looks solid black and the scooter looks all rightly lit uh if I want to be able to have a little bit more time to light I might want it slightly darker so I'm just gonna change my app you're setting a little bit so that I could have a little bit more time to paint all right so if I know I'm going to composite this image that means that I do not have to light the entire subject each time I can like individual parts of that I can come in and light things that I'm not sure if I'm even going to use like there are there's a little chrome logo on the side I could highlight just that trying to find the best angle that will make the logo pop way have the black seat I can spend time going around it doing things because I'm not limited to thirty seconds I could do short little burst exposures and so I'm going to go in and just start doing uh some exposures working on more or less isolated areas sometimes I might like the whole thing in different styles like up close versus further away or lit from different angles and that way I have the versatility that I can choose to use those things or not so this flashlight is a different flash like this one I'm working with is known as an innova bolt that's I n o v a bolt like like lightning bolt and it's less expensive than the other one do we happen to know what it costs? Did you look it up? But I did one second and on my gear list I incorrectly list this I think there are multiple versions of this and I thought I had the one with the fancy battery in it but I changed the battery out the other day and they were just double a's in it so that that one is twenty seven dollars okay, twenty seven dollars flashlight so that's pretty good budget when it comes to ah good flashlight all right? And the other thing is john would you mind finding me some senna foiled in case I decide to use it all right? So I'm just gonna pick areas of this scooter that I'd like to shoot I'm gonna light each one possibly individually or in multiple styles like up close and squid levers is further away or light it from the left edge and then light it from the right edge because then I have all those possibilities to use when I composite and I can really create a refined image but this is when you really commit yourself light painting where you're going to spend time to make a really good looking image um so let's get started I'm just going to confirm that my shutters working one thing that's good about wireless triggers is one feature that's nice is if you can have one that has a confirmation light on it with confirmation light means is it confirms that the camera received your click because sometimes I'm in the field in the camera is far enough away from where I am that I can't hear the shutter where there's noise like cars driving by and I could be sitting there like pain all night and it's not taken a single shot because I'm out of range or the battery went dead in the the thing connected to the camera so mine's got a little confirmation light in the corner all right so let's get started let's do a generic one of the seat gonna do close up as well I can distort the snoot on this uh to pinch it if I'd like trying to keep it on but it's not going to stay on so that was no success I'm gonna turn all the way on the one thing I do not like about the end of a bolt that tries me insane is that the button on the back is hard to push so if you want to temporarily turned on you got to give it some effort so if you uh for someone that doesn't have strong strong thumb you might want to get a different flashlight all right, just get in the top edge of the white stuff the enemy at the bottom go for the logo area if I could get I want a long shadow, what do I want to figure out? Where does it kind of catch anything? That's black usually needs a lot more light on it, so if you want the hand grip anything, I'm going to try to light it in a way where it doesn't hit the rest of the scooter try try to find an open area do a bit longer on it when it comes to headlights, I usually is a small light and trace around it. I think I showed you that last night, but otherwise I'll just try toe distort this nut in the front of my flashlight so it's the same shape its light, then I'll open the shutter and close it and then here I'm walking until I can't see certain parts of the scooter like the area in the back he might almost looks like a baggage area here I'm going to get where I can't see that because then I know the light if I light it from here it's not going to fall on that particular object, and so I could like this area and then I could go to a different angle where I can't see the other part that I just let and this is what I mainly do, what I'm lighting with color gels so let's, do a color gel here in a second in my back pocket, I usually keep color gels ones I happen to be using here from a company called rogue, and they're designed to be put on a flash and they could be very nice, but they're not necessary if all you're using is a flashlight, if all you're using is a flashlight, use any light source that or any filter that would be great colored, and you can get a sample pack from a company called roscoe, and if you look in the yellow pages of your area for theatrical supply or some camera stores of their high end, if they sell, too, professionals might have them where you could get a sample pack for a very low price sometimes it's only um sometimes the price will be free. Sometimes it will be five bucks, something like that and when I'm shooting for a composite, if I have an assistant with me often times, I'll just have them at the camera and they'll yell it be when I'm done with the issue in and they'll say, too, right, you know, too dark you missed the part of the left, you know, that kind of stuff, but here, a lot of times you won't have an assistant and so I'm just kind of doing this because I want to show you what I might dio to adjust things that are too brighter, too dark I'm gonna grab for another color of joe chills aren't always easy to see what color they are when it's dark out let's see just a little warm, so if I already lit this area here with one color, look at what's in the shade to see the part in front of the seat it's in the shade where didn't get any light? And then what if I did over here? This also didn't get the area where the like, where your legs would go when you're riding, and so I'm looking at that trying to think of what might have I missed it can be nice to go in the back. Your digital camera just hit the playback button and then used to ski the wheel in the back your camera to scroll through all the pictures you just shot and just kind of try to guess what they would look like if they're all put together. Is there any area that remained dark the whole time? We're just didn't get that much light and you want to consider it if I liked it just from here, though it's going to be generic, so I'm going to see if there's any way that might appeal to get behind I could be right in the scene you know? It feels weird if you're not used to like painting too you know being the scene as long as I don't like myself though, but I'm fine so now white object that you have to be a little careful with because light can reflect off of it like you it was a chance I might show up so I'm making sure my head is not near that area because then I can easily mask myself out if I did this with my head you know too close to it and reflect out it off you might be a little more complicated to, um retouch out usually if I'm going to do a composite and I want a really high quality one I just keep shooting until I run out of ideas but that's me I'm kind of crazy when it comes tio how much time for other things? I'll put it in that here we're going to limit the amount of time we spend just because we want to get into other things and we're not trying to make an image that we're going to hang on your wall we're trying to talk about the technique like painting I might pinch the snow that's in the front of my flashlight for some areas hey do a more dramatic angle off the side the shadows usually looked much more interesting than if you shoot straight on john yeah, can you find me my little flashlight that has a flexible stock on it? If it's coming in, sometimes you end up running into situations where you're in like a junk yard or something else or there's just a parked car thank you where you can't have them turn the headlights on you can't haven't turned the tail lights on, but boy, it would look a heck of a lot better if they were if that's the case, I will use a ah very small led flashlight the kind that might fit on your key chain. I'll put a little piece of black electrical or gaffer's tape around it, so the light source is recessed just slightly and I can come and light up things like tail lights if you look at a tailor, if I had just light it from the edge oftentimes you could get it to light up it's sometimes tracing the edge this particular one is a little oddly shaped it's actually not as easy to light up is some that I've encountered but lighting it from behind and just kind of tracing her around, you know, try to do that without getting the white of my flashlight to show up I'm just practicing before I do an exposure, okay, it looks like just getting the little tape that's on the edge of my flashlight so it's snug up against it in tracing that back edge going to try to do the back and I might do the top think I'll probably end up with a slight white line though where the flashlight actually touched let's try it I don't know if that's gonna be bright enough that all you see what comes up, you can't see anything in there no okay, we'll have to do it for a longer period of time where I'm not sure the angle that you guys were getting from the camera but see if I can paint a little bit into this group so I get a little white out there but in a normal like fifties american car let's say getting just this in their touching the bottom edge of the tail lights and be able to trace over it oftentimes lights them up, I can show you an example it's a little better it's, pointing quite a ways away from the camera were not really catch his own very little that will be seen. So anyway, that's one thing I consider I think about it a little bit more from other angles, then I use these little lights to come in in in light little accents come in, just do the shiny spot or I'll come in and just do the logo come in and to like just these little parts has tried to get him lit up and look at any little thing you might have missed if you want squiggly look somewhere these little lights are nice for it that kind of stuff so usually though after shooting quite a bit I'll go to the camera uh yeah, I'll get in there with now we just got to go to the camera and I'm gonna play back you guys won't be able to see this because I don't know if there's room here but I'm just going to spin through and see what has been lit what has not? I see a lot of the area in the middle of the scooter that I might not have gotten and possibly parts of the handlebars and the headlight, so I'm just growing through back and forth back and forth in analyzing each part of it saying is there any part that stayed dark the whole time? And so let's try things like the headline most car headlights around attn least in old cars and with those I just trace around the outer edge of it not sure if that will be the best method here, but I'll try it once I like the flexible stock so I don't have to have my hand directly and they're like really close to this and I can keep it near the edge let's try one and if that doesn't do it, see what that did take a minute for the load okay, we got some light in there miss it in the middle though, but it's not that bad, is it? I can't tell us because what happens with the reflector is your lighting, the bottom part of the the lamp here and the light's hitting their fletcher at the back and coming out the top. And so even though you're lighting down here, a lot of the lights coming out on the opposite side, so anyway, I could also try going from a little ways away getting it like that, but usually I would continue on going all sorts of other little spots I don't want to spend the time to do every little thing because I want to move on to other topics I'm just going to get a couple right and that I don't know if we'll be bright enough because of their exposure settings but a little bit all right, so other things you can do is if you want weirdness in your image, you can do things behind the scooter if you have christmas tree lights string them out so they're hanging down and just walk across behind there. And when you do jingle your christmas tree lights a little bit, you're going to get wild streaks of light going horizontally behind the scene uh, I haven't tried this before, but over here I have a set of party lights I have no idea if this'll look interesting or not I've never used them but these air party lights I buy weird shit like this off of amazon and ebay and stuff going that could be cool one day so let's see what happens they're gonna make sure I'm not gonna break through this background okay I'm just gonna walk past this behind it with those turned on did it close in here did let's see what it looks like? I have no idea that's what's fun about life here okay you see the wild stuff it's kind of dark though isn't that so I'm going to go to the camera and I'm going to take my eyes oh setting off of low in up to two hundred I got to do a pretty brief exposure though so the light in this room doesn't contribute but if you want something interesting what's nice about these lights is it has a test button and it's designed so if they found him in the store and you want to see what they look like you could press the light and I'm gonna let some of them droop down so they're not all even and here goes way get oh yeah so if you'd usually have a boring background let's just go by the thing a few times so we can fill the background a little bit I'll probably end up cropping the image a little closer to the scooter but I'm just gonna go open. We'll get some overlap in the middle. Pretty high tech, huh? All right, so, you know, if you want an interesting background, it's, not like you need to use anything overly special, but I buy weird stuff all the time, one of which is I bought a lightsaber. It's, actually a policeman's. Uh, well, there we go. So if you want really wild backgrounds, get something really weird, and you can do all sorts of things that might be bright because a lot brighter than the other light source let's, take a look. Is that a little more interesting than a black backdrop? When here, do you hear? Yeah, I like it if I go slower where they're more connected, because that's, the one thing I don't like about this, what I really wanted was a white one that didn't flash, so I could put color gels on.

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.