Photography

Light-Painting at the Coast

My husband and I went to South Durras for a short break, now that our part of the world is even safer from COVID-19. We brought our camera gear, not only to practice but also we find we connect with nature at a deeper level when looking for nice shots. I also brought my new light-painting gear – which was very lucky because Tony found THE BEST SPOT for that! It was literally hidden amongst trees and shrubs on the path to the beach, and I don’t know what made him look there because it was surprising how large the clearing was. It looked like the perfect place for picnic with mythical creatures.

Here’s the final image I put together in Affinity Photo (a reasonably priced version of the unreasonably priced PhotoShop) from 8 taken on the night. It is a little busy, but I wanted a good record of what the equipment was capable of producing.

I was really pleased with the following light tools I picked up at Jaycar (click on the hyperlinks to check them out on the Jaycar website):

  • EL wire in four different colours (red shown here for the flame-like effects by unravelling the roll and waving it around from both ends)
  • A small submersible LED light with a remote control to change the colour of the lights (red placed in the center of the tree branches; blue at the bottom and right-hand side to illuminate the branches; and a purple way at the back)
  • An adhesive colour-changing LED light strip which I placed inside a stiff-ish flexible piece of clear PVC tube from the gardening section at Bunnings (set to “flashing” for the green and blue “circles” and just waving it in an arc – it was too flexible to create full circles).

Most items were less than $20, which was a very happy surprise. I also have to say that the wireless remote control for the camera shutter I received as an early Christmas present was invaluable! I do still have some bugs in the equipment to iron-out. Mainly the connections from the power-sources to the lights, which fell-out far too easily when I was waving them around. And a word of caution: if you buy the red EL wire, be careful around precious fabrics, because the colour does rub off.

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about how I created this image. I’m not an expert, but I am a very keen beginner who’s read a lot about light-painting. I can also recommend the light-painting workshops in Canberra run by 50eight Photography. Peter does most of the hard work, and you learn a lot from seeing it done properly. But don’t worry, you also get to play with all the cool toys yourself as well 🙂

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