Sunday, 7 March 2010

Macro Monday - Painting with Light


So this week I have chosen a photo that, while it looks as though it has been photoshopped quite a lot, it really hasn't. I will admit to removing the stem, since I liked the impact of just the flower head, and I have adjusted the contrast, but otherwise, it is pretty much as is. The distinctive look of the photo has been achieved in the way the photo was taken. Rather than using a harsh flash with a fast shutter speed, I essentially took the photo in the dark. The lighting was then provided by playing a flashlight over the flower head, lighting up the petals, but leaving everything else black. To get enough light into the camera using such a subtle form of lighting, the shutter has to be left open for a relatively long period of time, in this case approximately 15 seconds. Obviously, you are going to need a tripod for this one.

I really do love this effect, and you can do it on a much larger scale, so long as you have a strong enough light source. Here is a tree that I painted with light in the Namibian desert. I got into trouble for this one, since apparently leopards live in amongst the boulders and they love to come out at night and eat idiotic tourists (that would be me) that are sitting around taking photos at sunset.




For more macro Monday, go here.


23 comments:

awarewriter said...

Excellent. I really like what you did with the flower. I've heard of the painting with light technique but never tried it. Your flower is a big success.

I like the tree too. Guess you got lucky with the big cats that night.

Cortes said...

These photos never fail to amaze. You really do have a talent for this.

Sistertex said...

Really very beautiful. I love it.

Colleen said...

What an incredible effect and a beautiful flower. Thanks for sharing.

Jama said...

This is so beautiful!I'm going to give this method a try, thanks for sharing!

Kala said...

Beautiful light on the Gerbera.

jay said...

Oh, that's beautiful! Such an unusual effect .. I'll have to try that! Did you read how to do that somewhere, or was that your own idea?

I'm glad you didn't get eaten!

Moon said...

ok ok, I give up ..... you are banned from even looking at my photos .. although I do have a cute lamb in my ones !!!..

Really cool photo, when are you selling them ???

Helena said...

These are both great shots. I really love the flower ... the colour and effect are so striking, it really caught my attention.

alita said...

That tree is utterly striking. Fantastic shot! Thankfully you were not eaten alive for your art.

Sunset is always my favorite time to take pictures, too. I love all the long shadows and golden light.

Nice shots!!!

Shelle said...

the flower looks great, thanks for the little photo tip, i might try it

Don't Bug Me! said...

Awarewriter: Not so lucky - I would have loved to have seen one.

Cortes: You are too kind.

Sistertex: Thank you.

Colleen: You are welcome!

Jama: I thought that it would be really tricky getting the exposure right, but it only took a couple of attempts. I was quite surprised when I tried it, checked the camera and found a decent image.

Kala: That is the nice thing about the technique - you have a lot of control over the lighting, where it is and how much you want.

Jay: I would like to take the credit for it being my idea, but I learnt the technique in my beginners pgotography course.

Moon: Cute anything is always going to be a winner, so long as you don't then eat it.

Helena: Thank you.

Alita: I was quite disappointed that I didn't get to see a leopard, but not so disappointed about not being eaten!

Shelle: Definitely give it a go - I was surprised how easy it is.

Manang Kim said...

Magnificent shot!!


The petal

Icy BC said...

That is so beautiful! Great macro!

moorebloglife said...

Not to be morbid but painting with light is used in forensics as well to photograph crimes scenes. Love the flower Adore the desert tree (glad you were not eaten!)

Christina. Sweden said...

wonderful, strong color and great light

Tammie Lee said...

the flower image is dramatically beautiful, as is the solitary tree. Seems you escaped being eaten.

Lori ann said...

beautiful photos, i would have loved to see a leopard come out (not a hungry one though).

Andree said...

Thank you for the description of this technique. Another reason I need a tripod immediately. It's fascinating and gorgeous. I can't wait to try this. But how did you light up the tree?

Don't Bug Me! said...

Kim: Thank you very much!

Icy BC: Thank you too.

Moore: I think that I will stick with living things, thank you very much!

Christina: It is all about the light.

TL: I guess the big cats weren't hungry.

LA: Yes, I was a bit disappointed that I never saw one.

Andree: I had a much larger flashlight and just highlighted the edges of the tree with it. There was still some natural light and for this one I had longer exposure time of over 30 secs.

Baino said...

Super tips. I haven't got a full tripod, just one of those pole things but someone told me that resting your camera on one of those little wheat packs that you heat up for sore necks, works just as well and steadies the camera. I haven't tried it .. gorgeous flower and the tree .. was that natural light? Amazing.

Don't Bug Me! said...

Baino: I also have a little beanbag that I made - it works great for resting your camera on a window when taking photos from a car. The lighting for the tree was natural plus a flashlight. It was a long exposure since it was starting to get dark!

Anya said...

My favorite flower :-)
UNique photo !!
Love it ....