Thursday, April 26, 2007
Painting with Light
This is an example of "painting with light." There are four light sources in this photo, if you include the streak of light from the car passing in the background. I set the 4X5 Speed Graphic, with 90mm angulon lens, on F 16 after focusing on the ground glass with the lens fully opened. I then locked the shutter open. The first light applied to the scene was a powerful flash about 60 feet away to the left. I was not in the car for this exposure (I was firing the flash). Most night light sources are point sources, which can be easily imitated with flash as long as it is fairly far away from the subject. With the F stop and distance, it took five flash firings to reach the correct exposure. I hid behind bushes to give the light some shadows. I then moved to the car with a large flashlight and hid below the dashboard level in the front seat to illuminate the weeds and ground to the right of the car just outside the open door. The estimated exposure for the flashlight was 3 seconds, so I moved the flashlight back and forth accordingly. The last exposure was by the map light in the front of the car above the windshield. I metered this exposure and moved myself slightly during the exposure to leave a blurred but humanoid image. This isn’t intended as a self-portrait. It's really a photograph of you in the car, you know, you, the reader. But you didn't show, so I had to stand in.