To all ye who want to paint with light ...

I should have started this blog many moons ago as I started experiencing the joys of rediscovering the art of photography. But as the saying goes - it's better late, than never!
So, here I am, in the hopes of recording what I learn as I progress from ignorance to enlightenment; about what my eyes can see that my camera can capture; and, what my mind imagines and my camera paints with its capabilities.

Please feel free to add any comments and share your wisdom (tips or tricks) that you have picked up along the way.

And do check out my How-To and Birding pages as well.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 24 - BULB photography

I finally got a load off my shoulder this morning after the volunteering program.  I have to say I wasn't expecting much after getting a briefing from the head teacher on what we might encounter in the classes.  But, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of these young adolescents' minds.  They seemed not to care about our presence or what message we were trying to send them on the economics of life, but somewhere I know they were receptive of what we told them, however fragmental.

With that out of the way, and feeling good after a workout, I just went ahead and decided to explore the BULB setting on my camera.  I had been curious about it when I accidentally hit upon it some time ago.  And then, wanting to learn something new, I thought I'd try to figure it out by playing with it, before I did any reading.  What I learned from doing, I learned a little extra from reading.  But I realized that I have to speed up my process of buying a cable release for my camera.

I also tried different lighting setups - with the overhead light on, with a sheet of paper to shade the bottle from the direct glare of the overhead light,  with a lamp that I placed a few feet away at a 45 deg. angle with my homemade softbox (a white plastic canister) over it.  I also tried to shield the bottle from the direct lamp light, by standing between the bottle and light source.  And of course, I tried using candles - from one side of the bottle and then on either side of the bottle.  Here are some of the shots with footnotes on the lighting. It would be nice to know which shot you think worked best.

Side lit by my table lamp with "softbox"; love the saturation on the green.  I only removed the dull colour cast from the background.

Lit by an overhead lamp - looks blown out, but I'm still finding the brightness appealing in some way

Lit by the overhead lamp again, but shielded from the bare bulb with a piece of white paper, and I set the WB to florescent to get the warm light.  I love the definition on the glass and like the bands of light and shade in the background.

Lit from the left by a single candle - BULB for 12s; still pretty dark

Lit on either side by candles - BULB for 10s.  Too many reflections.  I'm going to try and polarize next time around.

I'd love to have any other ideas on what to do to get images with different light sources.  I want to try to use a flashlight at some point and see how that pans out.


  1. The second one looks really nice! The brightness really works - Sort of like how photographers use brightness to attract viewers to magazine ads :)

  2. Thanks, Kristy. Now I know what to try next time. It does have a high key kind of effect. And BTW - that wine's Australian and one of the smoothest I've tried in a long time. :-)