Previously I touched on Light Painting but in this post we will explore the subject a little more.
Light painting has become very popular since the advent of digital photography. But it goes way back. Even Pablo Picasso dabbled in it in 1949. The longer the shutter speed, the more light will be let in. Just like I described before you can selectively illuminate the areas you want. This is a great way to take pictures of cars at night.
All you need is your camera, a tripod and a light source. I usually use a camping light. It works very well.
Now park your car in a dark or semi-dark area. Place your camera firmly on the tripod. Set your shutter speed to 30 seconds and set your camera to timer. Switch your camping light on and put it in front of the car. This illuminates the front of the car so that the camera can focus.
Now comes the fun part. As long as you are moving in the picture, you won’t be seen. Only the light source will be seen. If you are cleaver and keep the camping light in front of you so that the camera can’t see it, it won’t show up in the picture either. This means that you won’t have to Photoshop it out afterwards. Press the shutter button and pick up your light. Move around the car so that it illuminates it, making sure not to move the light directly in front of the subject. Try to count untill 30 so that you know exactly how long the shutter will stay open. Take as many pictures as you like but make sure the camera doesn’t move on the tripod. Play around and try different things. Get creative with light; cars driving past with their lights on or even lampposts on the side of the road will give a cool effect to your picture.
The next step is to download the pictures to your computer. Open them up in Photoshop and overlay them all on top of each other. Now you can play around with the different lighting effects, deciding on what to keep and what to trash.
Next time I will describehow to take pictures of cars using a rig.