Thursday, February 11, 2010

365/41 The Light Craptastic

365/41 The Light Craptastic

Something small and distant broke through the cloud layer, trailing shreds of vapour. In the stratospheric calm the sounds of bickering came sharp and clear. "You said you could fly one of these things!" "No I didn't; I just said you couldn't!"

Rincewind and Twoflower attempt broomstick flying, The Light Fantastic

I drug my feet tonight (well, today) for my photo. I cheaped out at the last moment and thought I'd try to do something with a long exposure and some light painting. Word to the wise: don't cheap out on this. It's not something you can throw together without a plan and some supplies.

First problem I encountered? The !@#$ street light just outside the house. Sure, it's quite useful when it's pitch black outside, but not when you're trying to do long exposures on your camera that require a minimal amount of light. I'll need to move down to a darker section of the neighborhood. Maybe the parking lot of the community center will work. It's always pitch black over there after evening falls and the basketball court lights go dark.

Second problem I encountered? I really need to get a better light setup for doing this. I used a white LED flashlight for this attempt. It wasn't bright enough, having only one LED in it. I need more. Arrays of LEDs in fact. Something with more of a bare bulb to it so I can get fancier with the light as I paint it across the car. Other LED colors would help.

Third problem I encountered? Not having a remote trigger for this camera means I'm stuck doing 30 second exposures and then racing to the car to get one small bit of it painted. That means if I want to do anything significant, I will have to composite multiple photos together. In this particular case, I was just testing, so I only did a few bits before the cold overtook me and swept me back inside.

Overall, I like the effect. I just need to practice more and figure out how this stuff should all work together. At the very least, it shows that I can still have fun, standing under a street lamp at 11:30pm and still not be arrested by roving squad cars filled with the county deputies of the local sheriff's office. Go figure.


Agent J said...

Definitely get the release. I've loved my ML-L3 wireless release for that, but I understand not many support that remote out of the box.

Travis Campbell said...

Yeah. I have the release for the D40, but it's IR so it doesn't work with the D300. The alternative to the Nikon release is to get the camera cable for one of my pocket wizards, but those are expensive too.