light painting

Techniques and equipment.

Moderator: Moderators

light painting

Postby graveleye » Jan 14, 2008 10:35 am

Well we finally got to try out our new camera and the 10gazillion candlepower spotlight we got for Christmas. This was a real experiment for me. I'm fairly proficient with cameras, but the dSLR camera is new to me. What a treat!!

Here are links to some of the pictures we took:

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

I've already been thinking about things to improve my pictures that just didn't occur to me in the cave. One is to put the light source farther on the peripheral of the camera position. Something tells me that this will shadow the picture in such a way to better show some depth. Another is to keep our headlamps off during the shoot. I left it off of autofocus too, thinking it wouldn't work properly anyway, but I wound up having some trouble getting it perfectly in focus. Any hints?

These are mostly 30-55 second exposures with a cable release. I'll be honest in saying that I don't know what F-stop I had it set on because I just wasn't thinking about it and the first shot came out ok.

Can you guys let me know what techniques and tricks you use to do this sort of photography? I hope to one day get a series of slave-flashes, but that's down the road of course. My new camera is a Canon EOS Rebel XT (8mp), and I'm happy to have it!!
ad astra per aspera

http://www.myspace.com/jamthecontrols

The views expressed in this post are not necessarily those of any organization I am affiliated with.

Become a sustaining member of the SCCI
User avatar
graveleye
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2934
Joined: Mar 14, 2006 11:12 am
Location: Georgia, USA
Name: Kevin Glenn
NSS #: 57238RL
  

Re: light painting

Postby batrotter » Jan 14, 2008 3:33 pm

Awesome pics!!!

I got one question. What is exactly is your "10gazillion candlepower spotlight". I want one of them.
batrotter
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Sep 6, 2005 9:20 am
Location: Columbus, Indiana
Name: Bruce Trotter
NSS #: 27849RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Indiana Cave Survey
  

Re: light painting

Postby graveleye » Jan 14, 2008 4:07 pm

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200230674_200230674

Mine is almost exactly like this one. It really was cool turning it on for the first time and seeing the far walls lit up for the first time!! Didn't cost too much either- problem is that I only seem to get about an hour or so per charge.
ad astra per aspera

http://www.myspace.com/jamthecontrols

The views expressed in this post are not necessarily those of any organization I am affiliated with.

Become a sustaining member of the SCCI
User avatar
graveleye
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2934
Joined: Mar 14, 2006 11:12 am
Location: Georgia, USA
Name: Kevin Glenn
NSS #: 57238RL
  

Re: light painting

Postby JoeyS » Jan 16, 2008 8:15 am

Nice pictures!
Your model is very still too. Hard to stay that way for 20 seconds. I've gotten some good ideas from On Caves and Cameras if you don't have it already:
http://nssbookstore.org/index.php?mode= ... -1111-2007
________________
Joey Stuckey
JoeyS
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Aug 8, 2006 11:22 am
Location: Middle Tennessee
NSS #: 57719
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Nashville Grotto
  

Re: light painting

Postby graveleye » Jan 16, 2008 3:34 pm

That books looks like the ticket. Thansk for the tip Joey!
ad astra per aspera

http://www.myspace.com/jamthecontrols

The views expressed in this post are not necessarily those of any organization I am affiliated with.

Become a sustaining member of the SCCI
User avatar
graveleye
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2934
Joined: Mar 14, 2006 11:12 am
Location: Georgia, USA
Name: Kevin Glenn
NSS #: 57238RL
  

Re: light painting

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Jan 17, 2008 2:25 pm

I've a 10 Million Candlepower spot myself. But it seems to wash out photos more than illuminates... even panning the light back and forth for the duration of the shutter's opening. Still, I was probably NOT doing it correctly or utlizing it in a way that would create the desired effect.
Still it's a bright light and does wonders to light up the far side of a big room or the top of a high dome.
Without the possibility of death, adventure is not possible. ~ Reinhold Messner


http://ralph.rigidtech.com/albums.php
User avatar
Ralph E. Powers
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2101
Joined: Sep 10, 2005 5:48 pm
Location: Chattanooga, TN
NSS #: 37616
  

Re: light painting

Postby adleedy » Jan 17, 2008 5:21 pm

graveleye,
Autofocus should work in the cave, just focus on someones headlamp or an led. you can also manual focus like this if you feel like it. Flashes and slaves are nice to have, but I recommend SIT modules as they are my primary means of shooting cave photography, you get a much better overall effect.
Alan D. Leedy

E.R.V.K.E.T Life Member

SAVE CAVE RIVERS http://WWW.8RIVERSSAFEDEVELOPMENT.COM
User avatar
adleedy
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 522
Joined: Dec 12, 2006 6:04 pm
Location: charleston, west virginia
Name: alan dwayne leedy
NSS #: 56663
Primary Grotto Affiliation: charleston grotto + ERVKET
  

Re: light painting

Postby JoeyS » Jan 17, 2008 11:07 pm

adleedy wrote:graveleye, ...........Flashes and slaves are nice to have, but I recommend SIT modules as they are my primary means of shooting cave photography, you get a much better overall effect.

Yes, SIT is a great technique, and you can use many sources (besides LED's) as illumination. Ralph, you might try covering the lense of your spotlight with wax paper or similar to diffuse the light. That would probably eliminate the overexposed "hot streaks".
We have found some really interesting light sources to play around with lately.
I think that a good slave with strobe is still indespensible for certain shots. Also, it can eliminate the need for a tripod, since you can shoot at fast shutter speeds.
________________
Joey Stuckey
JoeyS
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Aug 8, 2006 11:22 am
Location: Middle Tennessee
NSS #: 57719
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Nashville Grotto
  

Re: light painting

Postby NZcaver » Jan 18, 2008 10:29 am

adleedy wrote:Flashes and slaves are nice to have, but I recommend SIT modules as they are my primary means of shooting cave photography, you get a much better overall effect.

Personally, I recommend flashes and slaves for most general cave photography. It's true you can get some nice effects playing with light painting and/or artificially illuminated time-exposures (AITE - see I can make up my own acronyms too :wink: ). But I have to agree with Joey here.

JoeyS wrote:I think that a good slave with strobe is still indespensible for certain shots. Also, it can eliminate the need for a tripod, since you can shoot at fast shutter speeds.

There are many scenes you can only really capture with slaved flashes (ie action shots), and I would argue that even for big (or small) pretty cave scenes the multiple flash method is still by far the most commonly used cave photography technique. Sure slow shutter/time exposures can capture some neat effects you won't get in flash photography - personally I like the idea of doing some entrance shots like this using natural light or a combination of natural and artificial. Deeper in the cave, if I'm not using flashes I think I'd be inclined to use the fixed light sources rather than light painting. Diffusers over your spotlight will probably help with the "hot streaks" but even so light painting results always look a bit randomly blotchy to me.
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6342
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  

Re: light painting

Postby Bob Thrun » Jan 18, 2008 12:22 pm

adleedy wrote:graveleye,
Flashes and slaves are nice to have, but I recommend SIT modules as they are my primary means of shooting cave photography, you get a much better overall effect.

What's a SIT module?
Bob Thrun
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 322
Joined: Jul 18, 2006 12:50 pm
  

Re: light painting

Postby adleedy » Jan 18, 2008 3:11 pm

Bob Thrun wrote:
adleedy wrote:graveleye,
Flashes and slaves are nice to have, but I recommend SIT modules as they are my primary means of shooting cave photography, you get a much better overall effect.

What's a SIT module?


Its a small heat sink with an unfocused led mounted to it ran by 4 AA's or C's and a 5 volt regulator. This is the techniue Nathan williams used to light up the rumble room.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/realms_of_ ... 393407918/

Anything i can think of can be shot with a SIT module, waterfalls turn out especially good http://www.flickr.com/photos/wvcaver/1795045003/

The use of led's seem to produce just the right colors, and actually allows you to see massive rooms in real time. :kewl:
Alan D. Leedy

E.R.V.K.E.T Life Member

SAVE CAVE RIVERS http://WWW.8RIVERSSAFEDEVELOPMENT.COM
User avatar
adleedy
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 522
Joined: Dec 12, 2006 6:04 pm
Location: charleston, west virginia
Name: alan dwayne leedy
NSS #: 56663
Primary Grotto Affiliation: charleston grotto + ERVKET
  

Re: light painting

Postby pub » Mar 14, 2010 7:29 pm

NZcaver wrote:light painting results always look a bit randomly blotchy

I agree which indicates the scene was unevenly lighted. Care needs to be taken to ensure the entire scene is covered with even overlapping “brush” strokes. If you paint your house with random brush strokes you’ll have a blotchy house.

Those with external flash can try “spray” painting with multiple triggering. The coverage is more even and repeatable. It is hard to duplicate the brush strokes of a headlamp for the different exposure settings.

Last Saturday I tried a combination of both brush and spray; in both these photos my light guy was spraying too:

Image
30 sec @ F3.5

Image
20 sec. @ F3.5 (the near tites got a little over exposed.)

NZcaver wrote:There are many scenes you can only really capture with slaved flashes (ie action shots)

I’d say 97% for my shots are the quick and dirty ones with a slaved flash for the action shots. I generally don’t like posed shots but will take them when requested. The other 3% are the tripod shots that require a lot of setup and I’ll shoot these only with people who have the patience and understanding.

So, graveleye, have you had any luck with your light paintings? BTW, according to the EXIF, all the photo you posted were taken at F5.6 and speeds of 44, 41, 30, 36, 32, and 43 seconds (in posted order).
Balincaguin comes from the Zambal phrase, "Bali lan caguing" meaning "house of bats."
This was the former name of the Municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan, when it was part of the Province of Zambales (of Mt. Pinatubo Volcano fame).
User avatar
pub
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 296
Joined: Jun 5, 2009 10:31 pm
Location: Mabini, Pangasinan, Philippines
Name: jerry rendon
NSS #: 61437
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Balincaguin Conservancy Grotto [Primary] + SoCal Grotto
  

Re: light painting

Postby Cody JW » Mar 15, 2010 10:01 am

I am no expert on photos in caves but the program for my Olympus digital camera allows you do all kinds of touch ups to your photos,I was playing with it the other day and was amazed at what you can do.I do not know if that kind of thing relates to this situation or if other camera programs do this, I am assuming they do.I was able to change background or foreground color ect.
It only takes one person to surrender a dog to a kill shelter ,but it takes many to rescue it.
User avatar
Cody JW
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 905
Joined: Oct 24, 2007 10:16 am
Location: Indianapolis In. USA
Name: Jeff Cody
NSS #: 23961
  

Re: light painting

Postby pub » Mar 15, 2010 6:42 pm

Cody, I addressed your question at Basic photo edits w/ Google Picasa.
Balincaguin comes from the Zambal phrase, "Bali lan caguing" meaning "house of bats."
This was the former name of the Municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan, when it was part of the Province of Zambales (of Mt. Pinatubo Volcano fame).
User avatar
pub
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 296
Joined: Jun 5, 2009 10:31 pm
Location: Mabini, Pangasinan, Philippines
Name: jerry rendon
NSS #: 61437
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Balincaguin Conservancy Grotto [Primary] + SoCal Grotto
  


Return to Photography and Videography Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users