Light painting has become a popular type of photography in recent years. The reason: Photos with impressive color accents are relatively easy to produce. Color artist Olaf Schieche regularly gives workshops on this topic and uses, among other things, for thisLumen Sticks by Rollei. We accompanied him on a photo shoot.
1. What is important in light painting?
2. What would you recommend for a beginner?
3. What are the most common mistakes?
4. Tips you would give to your own novice self from back then?
5. What camera settings would you recommend?
6. Which photo situations are the most exciting?
7. How did you get into light painting yourself??
8. Rather take a lot or rather little equipment with you?
Bonus: Instructions for light painting with steel wool
1. What is important in light painting?It depends on the right camera settings, the ambient light and creativity. Without creativity, you just can't make beautiful pictures. It really doesn't depend on the equipment. The trick is that you can do something cool with what you have with you. It's mostly about creativity, location and camera angles. You should know the settings and know how to work with light.
2. WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND FOR A BEGINNER?So, a beginner should above all know what equipment to have with you. The camera must be able to use bulb mode. You need a decent onetripodthat can withstand the wind, no mini things that fall over just looking at them, oneremote trigger for bulb mode and also two or three flashlights. Small flashlights to large flashlights. You can actually build everything else yourself. From my point of view, this is also the art of light painting. Build it yourself with the funniest materials. For example heating insulation, duct tape, drinking cups or bottles. Not only is it cooler to build these things yourself, it's also cheaper. But that always depends on the respective tool. Sometimes you have to invest money.
3. WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES?
Many people don't even understand what the aperture/camera settings do overall. Wrong apertures are set very often. Or that you can't work with the autofocus in the dark. So that you can't focus because too little light falls on the sensor. Many photographers are also too hectic and don't think about what they want to put in the picture beforehand. And you also have to learn to move properly with the light. Many don't dare to do it at first. Of course it looks funny when you see someone dancing in the park with a glowing garbage bag. But you just have to go out there and learn to use it to draw nice tracks and to block out everything else.
|Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II||29 sec at f/9||100|
4. TIPS YOU WOULD GIVE TO YOUR OWN BEGINNING ME FROM BACK?Less is more. I've always been way too colorful and used all sorts of colors. Sometimes you can only use blue tones, or warm tones. Orange, yellow and red. I often wanted to do too much in one night. Light painting takes time, so if you can get three pictures in one night, you should be satisfied.
5. WHAT CAMERA SETTINGS WOULD YOU RECOMMEND?Camera settings depend on where you are. If you have a certain basic lighting in the city, so that the sky is illuminated by the city, then ISO 100, the aperture usually at 8 and in bulb mode. If you shoot in RAW, you would still do a white balance. That's the beauty of light painting. You don't need all that frills. When I'm out and about, I use different settings because I want to get in as much light as possible.
6. WHICH PHOTO SITUATIONS ARE THE MOST EXCITING?
I personally think Lost Places are the coolest. There you can combine old and new very well and you can let off steam. Or places in general that you wouldn't normally get to. For example, last year I hiked up to Trolltunga, a rock formation in Norway. I took two pictures, slept upstairs and then hiked down again. You experience a lot with light painting. From customs to police to ghost hunters, everything was there. However, I only came into contact with ghost hunters once, in the Klecker Forest south of Harburg. There is a burial mound that is said to have a witch living there and where I did light painting. There I stood on a rock with a lighted motorcycle helmet and lightsaber. Suddenly a car stops and four people get out and ask me if I'm also looking for paranormal phenomena. They probably figured they just discovered something paranormal, but that was just me.
|Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II||41 sec at f/10||100|
7. HOW DID YOU COME TO LIGHTPAINTING YOURSELF?I went on holiday to Rügen in 2011 and had previously seen light paintings in the newspaper. They were stick figures and I thought I'd try that. Then in the evening I walked down to the jetty, had a glass of wine, put the camera down and drew people, hearts and faces with a bicycle lamp and I was fascinated by it. Then I thought I'd go ahead and develop it further.
8. TAKE A LOT OR LITTLE EQUIPMENT WITH YOU?Principle number 1 in light painting: always take more with you than you need. It could be that you spontaneously have an inspiration, which is why I always have my most important cases with me, my flashlight case and the tool case that contains the accessories. And then we can start.
BONUS: HOW DOES LIGHTPAINTING WITH STEEL WOOL WORK?
As a bonus, here is a guide to light painting with steel wool.
It's probably the quickest and easiest method for this type of photography.
EQUIPMENT FOR LIGHTPAINTING WITH STEEL WOOL:
- Metal whisk or tea infuser
- metal chain
- dark clothing
- Lighter or D block battery
- Steel wool (the finer the better) degrees of fineness go from 0 (very coarse) to 0000 (very fine)
- The finer the wool, the more sparks fly
- Suitable location (if possible, nothing flammable nearby and no panes of glass, because the sparks can burn through glass
- Puddles of water can be a good addition through reflections
- It is better not to work with steel wool in strong winds because the sparks can glow
- Fasten the chain to the whisk or tea egg in a fireproof manner (because it can be up to 1,000 C hot))
- Fluff up steel wool so it's not so densely packed (oxygen)
- Then pack in a tea strainer or whisk
- Ignite steel wool and slowly begin to swing
- Set the camera to bulb mode
- Use aperture 6-11
- Focus manually because autofocus doesn't work in the dark
- View result, readjust if necessary