I was looking to do something a bit different to my usual work on my recent Christmas trip to Canada. Whilst googling ideas I came across the creatively named, "painting with light".
I have been aware of this technique for some time, but never really had cause to use it. So I thought I would give it a go as already had a good subject in mind.
The subject was an rusty old 70's car that had been dumped in the woods down the road from the in-laws house. So I waited till the darkness fell and attacked it, unfortunately I did not have my full kit on me (damn those airlines and their weight limits). So I was most importantly without my tripod, amongst other things. However in true make do and mend spirit, I fashioned a stand out of a gardening bench and some sticks to even out the rough ground.
The technique used to create the image itself is very straight forward. The shutter is left open whilst you wander round subject adding light where you think it will work. For the two images added here I used around six flash bursts in a 30 second exposure. And the great thing is you are not caught in the image as whilst you wander around the scene, as long as you keep the flash pointing away from you.
I was quite impressed with the results, especially for a first go. It's clear that the technique will take a lot more practice to get my ideal shots, but I'm fairly happy with the results, it almost has the look of a studio shot.
The great thing about this technique is that no single image looks the same, human error allows a difference in each image no matter how hard you try stick to the same formula.
I'm planning to do more of this now I'm home, as I enjoyed it. I may even try some human subjects….as long as they can stay still!
Matt Stewart Photos
I've been a photographer for quite a long time now. So hopefully I have something to say about it.