painting with light


davem

Link Posted 04/01/2011 - 19:41
I want to get some photos of the inside of caves using the painting with light technique that is often glibly mentioned . I can't find the original magazine that gave me the idea.

The one technique I have read that I can't afford is an array of flashes with people setting them off around the cave. Any suggestions for an alternative method? (The caves are not huge)

Dave

Gwyn

Link Posted 04/01/2011 - 19:46
Is the cave normally dark?
If so then set a long exposure and rush around the cave with your flash (or a torch) and set it off where you want the "painting". You should wear dark clothing and no your way around fairly well so you don't fall over things in the dark. the camera shouldn't record you - just the light.

If you do a Google you will even find some videos to tell you how to do it.

flossie

Link Posted 04/01/2011 - 19:46
pitch dark cave : open shutter, wave torch about for a while, close shutter.


Edit: damn, Gwyn beat me to it...
Still shooting in the dark (literally and metaphorically)...

Don

Link Posted 04/01/2011 - 20:16
flossie wrote:
pitch dark cave : open shutter, wave torch about for a while, close shutter.


Edit: damn, Gwyn beat me to it...

or any other light source... fireworks, glowsticks, lanterns... sparklers... etc etc...
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.

Dangermouse

Link Posted 04/01/2011 - 20:22
In a suitably long exposure you have to stay still for a surprisingly long time to show up. I was messing around with a couple of friends last year (trying to make it look like one of them was being strangled by a ghostly figure) by the usual trick of a 30 second exposure and getting the "ghost" to stand in the frame for the right length of time then jump out. It took a couple of tries to make them show up at all!
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

Don

Link Posted 04/01/2011 - 20:33
Dangermouse wrote:
In a suitably long exposure you have to stay still for a surprisingly long time to show up. I was messing around with a couple of friends last year (trying to make it look like one of them was being strangled by a ghostly figure) by the usual trick of a 30 second exposure and getting the "ghost" to stand in the frame for the right length of time then jump out. It took a couple of tries to make them show up at all!

multi exposures work for shots like that as well as some painting with light shots.... you can get less noise overall if you use multi exposures instead of long exposures...
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.

Dangermouse

Link Posted 04/01/2011 - 20:45
Interesting - I did have something of a problem with noise but put it down to the shot being underexposed. I was using an M series lens and when stopped down to get the 30 second exposure the metering wasn't behaving (ok down to f11 or so but not at smaller apertures). Next time I'll insist they stay still for longer while I use digital preview to get it right!
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

johnriley

Link Posted 04/01/2011 - 22:12
Multiple flashes using B is one technique. The other is using an LED torch. Some of these are incredibly bright, but the light can be rather blue/green.
Best regards, John

bretti_kivi

Link Posted 04/01/2011 - 22:19
Bosanko's work is stunning. I'd also head for flashes used at 1/64 or so and long-ish exposures. Or HDR it.

Bret
my pics: link
my kit: K3, K5, K-01, DA 18-55, D-FA50 macro, Siggy 30/1.4, 100-300/f4, 70-200/2.8, Samsung 12-24/f4, Tamron 17-50, and lots of other bits.

thoughton

Link Posted 04/01/2011 - 22:32
cardiff_gareth wrote:
take a look at this guy. These are his images

Wowzers, those blue trees near the bottom are incredible!
Tim
AF - Pentax K5, Sigma 10-20/4-5.6, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 70-200/2.8, Tamron 70-300/4-5.6
MF - Vivitar CF 28/2.8, Tamron AD2 90/2.5, MTO 1000/11
Stuff - Metz 58 AF1, Cactus v4, Nikon SB24, Raynox 150, Sigma 1.4x TC, Sigma 2x TC, Kenko 2x macro TC, Redsnapper 283 tripod, iMac 27, Macbook Pro 17, iPad, iPhone 3G
Flickr Fluidr PPG Street Portfolio site
Feel free to edit any of my posted photos! If I post a photo for critique, I want brutal honesty. If you don't like it, please say so and tell me why!

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 05/01/2011 - 15:33
Dave

I lit this by setting the camera on a tripod on a 30 second exposure (I didn't have a remote cable for B shots to hand) and discharging an old flash unit (by pressing the test button) two or three times. If I had had two flashes it would have been easier because I could have set them off in turn, getting round the recharge time!

I did a trial exposure without flash first until I was happy with the exposure of the sky and streetlights.




The camera settings are here: link (actually that's a slightly different shot but the settings are the same).
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]
Last Edited by Pentaxophile on 05/01/2011 - 15:36

davem

Link Posted 05/01/2011 - 20:27
Wow what a response with some really useful ideas. I think that I am go to have to experiment at home first before I venture out to the caves.

Thanks for the really arty link Gareth - very inspirational.

Will, your very practical example has probably helped me most as I can see the camera data from the link. This also shows that you don't need complete darkness. Why did you use an old flash?

John, are you suggesting LED torches as they generally have a clearer light?
Last Edited by davem on 05/01/2011 - 20:28

johnriley

Link Posted 05/01/2011 - 21:10
Quote:
John, are you suggesting LED torches as they generally have a clearer light?

The light is more consistent, it's brighter and batteries last a long time before fading. I have a Lenser LED with one high powered LED and it's very useful for shots in the pitch black. It can also be useful to aid the camera in focusing in very dark places.
Best regards, John

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 05/01/2011 - 21:16
davem wrote:
Why did you use an old flash?

Because it was cheap! An expensive new one would have done the job just as well

You could buy several random old flashes on feebay for just a few quid ... this is one situation where you don't have to worry about voltage
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]
Last Edited by Pentaxophile on 05/01/2011 - 21:17

flossie

Link Posted 06/01/2011 - 10:11
LED torches are far more directional than conventional torches, so you can be far more specific on the areas you are highlighting.

They have a very high colour temperature (which has the side-effect of appearing brighter to the eye), so things will end up much bluer/colder than they would with an "old fashioned" torch. If you do want the warm tungsten look, you can get bargain-basement torches for 49p or something like that in Tesco etc...

Flossie
Professional Torch Fetishist.
Still shooting in the dark (literally and metaphorically)...
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