Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Painting with Light, Still Life of Foxglove

The above image was “painted with light,” although perhaps that is a bit of an overstatement. Here’s how it is done.

The camera is set on a tripod; the subject (the still life setup above) is in darkness, or near darkness. The shutter on the camera is opened, and left open. At that point I use a taped down flashlight, which only lets out a small beam of light out, and I move it over the subject adding light by moving the light back and forth. Wherever the light strikes the image will show, and where it does not there will be darkness. By using the hand to partially cover and uncover the light source, there can be lots of effects and tonal variations. In the case above there was also light from outside the window, which accumulates over time. It takes some practice, and frequently it will take a few days of experiments to get something I like.
The plant is Foxglove, taken from our garden in Charlottesville.


Andrew Hersey said...

I really enjoy your work. This image especially - such a nice mood. You make me want to take more photographs.

Ed Deasy said...

Thanks Andrew

If fact, I like this one too. I didn't put it up at first because of the window in the background. Then I began to think that it was a good thing, a touch of reality.
By the by, I've come across your web site before. The fade images that lead into "nocturnes" ... wow. These are all wonderful photos by themselves, but you've got a visual narrative going as they lead from one to another. really excellent.