This statue sits on a grave overseeing a section of an old cemetery in Pennsylvania. Colorful flowers have been placed in her hand by an unknown person,and I found that the green aged patina on the statue contrasted nicely with the purple and white bouquet.
This scene is one I decided to shoot this past weekend after we had a light snow pass through the area. This neighborhood has some very nice older homes and some include architectural elements that appeal to me for photos. This scene is right along the road,so I could shoot it from the street. The old dilapidated shed with lanterns that have been dark for years beckoned me to add some light to bring them to life. I placed a flash behind the lanterns to light them and then lit the snow and shed to show the details.The bottom photo shows my starting point and the top my final result. The title refers to the three rabbit tracks heading toward the shed.
Admittedly this is not anything special,but I wanted to encourage anyone interested in photography to try painting with light. The two photos show the scene as it was on the bottom image and how it looked after firing a flash multiple times on the top image. It’s a little intimidating in the middle of the woods in pitch black,but it was a fun exercise. You can do this several ways,but this shot is actually one frame with about 20 flash pops over a 30 second exposure. I basically hit the shutter and started walking and firing my flash as I quickly made it as far as I could in thirty seconds. You could use multiple exposures and light one tree at a time,then blend the shots if you wanted.Remember that I said thirty-second exposure,so even though the bottom shot appears brighter than night-time,it was much darker in reality.
This digger could take a serious bite out of almost anything it dug its teeth into. I lit this in overcast conditions with a flash and the bucket alone was lit with one series of eight flashes on multiple exposure on my camera. I set the shutter speed to the highest allowable on my camera at a 250th of a second and set the camera to record 8 exposures on one frame. Eight shots were just on the edge of possibilities because each ambient exposure built up on the frame as I shot,so you have to watch for overexposure when you do that many on one frame. My usual technique is to overlay separate frames,but multiple exposure allows flash to build up on the frame with each blast,so you effectively can make your weak flash more powerful.I wish they used this thing to give you a scoop of mulch for landscaping,although my trailer tires would explode when it dumped the bucket.
This image comes thanks to encouragement from my friends who have been exploring light painting in the fog. The scene you see was taken in the dark on a very foggy evening.This gazebo is in a local park and I decided to give it a whirl with flash. The lights you see are lamp posts in the background,which if you notice, have been hidden behind posts and tree branches to keep them from overpowering the scene and the blue and yellow is from different types of bulbs. there was literally one spot where I could position the camera to hide all of them. I spent nearly two hours in the dark in this park in the fog and it was very magical with the lamps glowing in the stillness of the enveloping fog. I got there at the very edge of dusk,so exposures were running anywhere from thirty to sixty seconds plus. A light drizzle made things a little wet,but I shot several scenes this night.
This snow scene was shot only a few hours later than my gazebo shot from yesterday. I literally went to bed just before midnight,tossed and turned as I thought about scenes to capture and climbed out of bed before 4am to head out looking. Again the full moon had the landscape lit up as evidenced by this shot taken around four thirty in the morning.A farm with silos glows in the distance as a bright star on top reflects in this peaceful stream.If you look closely,you can see stars in the night sky.
This image was taken after yesterdays shot as I headed home and noticed the local historical site was conducting lantern tours. It was shot around eight o’clock at night and had I been able to get there at dusk,it would be even nicer. Again,the full moon lit up the sky like I have never seen before and actually allowed me to get color in the sky after dark.The lanterns sit waiting to be picked up by tour participants who go building to building at the Ephrata Cloister learning about the past. A fresh snow earlier in the day made for a very special night for guests.The Cloister is one of Americas earliest religious settlements and was founded in 1732.
This image was taken at the location of the first sleigh image I posted recently and after loading the sleigh on the trailer,I decided to shoot one more image. Strong winds were forecast during the overnight hours,so I knew this shot would be gone by morning. This was shot after dark but thanks to a full moon,the sky was brighter than normal,and with a bit of flash added to the tree,the snow showed up nicely.I still make stupid mistakes when light painting shots like this and in this instance,I used a shutter speed way too slow,because I had it in my head I wanted a good ambient exposure,when in fact what I should have done was gone with a fast shutter speed,so all I was capturing was the flash on the snow.When you go to layer your flashed snow frame and the sky is also bright,it will brush in along with the snow and that is not what you want.
Tried another location for the sleigh I borrowed recently, and this time I wanted to show the beauty of the sleigh from the back.This old farmhouse has been lovingly restored by the current owners, and I thought it created another scenic backdrop for the sleigh. A lovely sunset kicked off the photo shoot and then I proceeded to light paint the sleigh,buildings, and even skim some light across the snow to reveal texture. A street light behind me cast some terrible shadows across the snow,so by lighting the snow I overpowered the street light to help pull the shot off.The sleigh was one of the first areas I lit and thank goodness for that, because three separate times I had to pick up packages that got blown off in about 15 mph winds. Would love to have a good horse to pull me as I take a ride in this thing instead of just hauling it on a trailer.
I ran the sleigh photo idea by the owner a year ago and they were excited about it,but the day I shot this,I could not get a hold of them,so they were surprised to see the sleigh in their yard and me hard at work photographing it that evening as they came home from a brief vacation. All in all I am very happy with the result of this little escapade with the old sleigh. Now lets see whats in those packages.
This winter scene came to be thanks to the generosity of the homeowner, the sleigh owner, and my crazy desire to live in the past. The red sleigh was loaned to me by a kind lady who I have done photos for,and the property was made available for my idea by a generous gentleman who entertains my wild photo ideas. The two photos represent my vision for the shot,with the top being the final shot and the bottom was my pre-planning stage to decide where to place it.
This property is an ideal backdrop for the sleigh and the building on the left was actually hand-built by the owner and his son several years ago. I put a light on a stand in that building to shine light out the window across the snow toward the sleigh and lit everything else with flash. From the light illuminating the sleigh to the shadows on the roof from the pine tree,I had to light every element. The old lantern was provided by the property owner as well,and the fancy gift packages and decoration on the sleigh was courtesy of my wife.
The tricky part in doing something like this is knowing exactly where you are going to place the sleigh,and if you look closely at the bottom shot you can see two yellow stakes at the runners leading edge,which were my target spots on the snowy night. I placed a stick in the ground to mark my shooting location and had to walk very slowly as I pulled the package laden sleigh into position.One of the annoying things I had to deal with on this night was the fact that it was still snowing as I started to get the sleigh off the trailer,so I had to keep a tarp over it and try and set packages in place on the sleigh with a tarp on top of it. Thank goodness the snow stopped just in time to let me finalize everything or else I would have had to scrap the shoot. I will definitely remember this night and the fun I had doing this shot.