Cool Long Exposure Night Photography
Have you ever tried to take a long exposure photo with your friends and spell out you name with a flashlight? Almost everyone has! Long exposures are really cool in the way that you have a black canvas, and you have to paint in where you want the light to go. Well now imagine putting lights onto a wheel and taking the image. That’s exactly what we did here. My friend Ben Harker (click here for his website!) made this awesome light wheel. It’s really simple but give a really cool long exposure shot. Then once you have your dome it is time to get creative! Play and experiment. Some things won’t work the first try, so do it again! That’s the tricky part of night photography; especially light painting. It is hard to get the same result twice, but that is alway what makes it cool.
This dome effect is done by simply just spinning the wheel on it’s tire edge, This was about a 2 second exposure. Ben helped out by spinning the wheel fast enough that I would get the whole dome, but not too fast with too many swirls.
Isn’t that cool! Check out this one! Ben stood in front of my camera and slowly walked backwards while spinning the wheel from the center.
While my friends were trying out some of their ideas, I took long exposures of it too. Since I was a different angle I got a whole different effect!
Now to add a human element to it. I think silhouettes light painting can be really cool! I had Macy Smith pose for me while Ben spun the wheel behind her.
I think the hardest part about night photography is to focus. You have to have a tripod! Shine a light on the area you want in focus, manually focus and then turn that light off before you start. If you’ve ever been to Idaho, it gets super cold at night! So having some ideas in the back of your mind will help you plan and get your shot before you freeze! One of the most famous Light Painting Photographers out there is Jan Leonardo. Back in 2013 initiated the 1st International Light Painting Award to promote international light painting and light photography. In a way he’s one of the “founding fathers”. His gallery has a very sci-fi feel to it with all the different colors of light he uses to paint!
This was such a fun project, I hope to try another type of night painting soon!