Light Painting on Presque Isle

Inspiration: Eric Paré

For a few months now, I've been closely studying the images and techniques used by light painting master Eric Paré and with help from Leo Gardner at Reflections, I was able to finally attempt to emulate the master's style of light painting photography. We had been planning and coordinating a small light painting workshop here in Marquette, Michigan for about a month prior to Friday's event and slowly accumulating a few light painting tools here and there. We didn't have the EagleTac brand of flashlights that Eric uses, but we did have very similar clear tube guards and some construction paper to fit inside the tubes to add some interesting color patterns when we attached our flashlights to the ends of the tubes. What resulted was the ability for a third person behind the model to paint on designs while our cameras exposed from anywhere between 1 second and 15 seconds.

Concern to Content

Initially, we didn't think our flashlights would be strong enough to push light against the surface area of the tubes all the way through, and while we were partially correct, we observed that depending on the speed of the motion and the duration of the camera's exposure, we'd seen a variation in the gradient formed between the flashlight's base and the end of the tube. You might also notice that at the end of the tube I used, you'll see a colorful cap at the outer end. At first, this was simply experimented with as a way to reflect some of that light back into the tube to try to fill it instead of letting it escape out the end, but it also doubled as a way to add one more element of colorful creativity.

More to Come

We've got a lot left to learn yet, as this all was completely experimental, but as we settle down and study what we did right against what could have been improved, we will at some point begin to coordinate another light painting workshop with some tweaked methods, better tools, and hopefully - as we gather more interest among local models and photographers - more participants.

A Timelapse

Now, if any of you are familiar with another passion of mine, you might have guessed that I had another camera set up watching everything we were doing for the night, timelapsing the entire event for the few hours we painted. The images you'll see speeding by below were individually shot at 10-second exposures with 15 second intervals over the period of about two hours. I used a program called StarStax to do the progressively stacked timelapse that follows the traditional timelapse - a program typically used to stack astrophotography images to produce star trails. If you enjoy this video, please feel free to browse my other 4k timelapse videos featuring some of the best things about Marquette in Michigan's upper peninsula and subscribe to my YouTube channel to see more of it as I continue to produce them.

Thanks to CORY for providing the tunes to the video.

If any of you have any questions about how our process went, what specific materials we used, or anything else related to our light painting techniques this time around, or if you have any suggestions for us to consider when we plan the next event, feel free to start a conversation in the comments, or get in touch with me at my facebook page and I'll let you in on everything you'd like to know.

#LightPainting #Night #LowlightPhotography #Michigan #Dark #Photography

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David Sargent Photography © 2021

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