“Flaming Gauntlet” – Mid North Coast of NSW, Australia – Drew Hopper – Featured Photographer
Since reading “Trick Photography and Special Effects…” from our E-book selection, I have really gotten into painting with light. Today’s image is a spectacular example of what you can do with a bit of creativity and patience. Drew’s image reminds me of “The Time Warp” from Rocky Horror. It really is some of the best light painting I have seen. Although he doesn’t give up too many “secrets” he does have some cool examples at his website and portfolios. So check them out after reading his story below and maybe you will find a great print to hang on that empty wall of yours. “God’s Canvas” would look nice on mine.
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First things first, I am a fine art landscape/nature photographer situated on the beautiful Mid North Coast of NSW, Australia. You are probably looking at this image thinking ‘what is he talking about, this isn’t a landscape?’… Well yes, you are correct. This image isn’t exactly a landscape. It’s far from my comfort zone of the natural world. I wanted to try and find something a little more radical with my photography, something bold and unique. I have noticed a lot of people have been picking up cameras and getting out and shooting the coastlines, rainforests and landscapes on the Coffs Coast. A lot of those people have been following my work for quite sometime now, so I do feel rather horned to have inspired them to have a crack at it too. I just feel it’s my time to expand and explore some new territory for a change. I guess this is one of the reasons for this new series of images. I wasn’t sure which path to take my photography, so I spent a solid couple of months online looking for new ideas, and that’s when I stumbled across some light painting photography, which caught my eye straight away! I decided to start making some of my own homemade lights from different household tools I had laying around the house. I wasn’t exactly sure if it’d work or not, but that was all part of the experiment that inspired me to challenge myself. The longest thing involved in light painting photography is preparation, often days, event weeks I’ll spend experimenting with new light tools at home until I perfect the desired effect I’m after. Not only are the tools important, but the weather plays a strong role which can either make or break the images.
I refuse to give away all my little secrets to creating this psychedelic effect, but I’m happy to offer advice on lighting and other helpful tips you need for light painting photography. Below you can see the camera’s exif data for this featured image. I hope this doesn’t offend some people, and I will say this now I am not the first person to do this effect before. I had a hard time finding out this technique myself, so I’d like to keep it on the down low for a little bit longer. I will be posting a full tutorial in the next couple of weeks on how do this, so if you’re interested in learning more please subscribe to my blog or follow my photography on Facebook. All other updates will be posted from my website, so if you keep checking back regularly than I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Exposure; 30sec @ f/5.6
Other tools used; Tripod, cable release, steel wool, matches or lighter, battery operated Christmas lights and of course a tunnel for the location.
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