“The things I do for you guys”

If my blog seems a little odd, it’s because I was up late last night light painting (As Jeff Corwin use to say, “the things I do for you guys.”) So I apologize if my blog seems like that stray line in your math notes from where you fell asleep. Light painting is simply what it says. It is like graffiti, without the harmful fumes that make you see dancing elephants, but best of all it leaves no trace. The process works like this; while photographing in the darkness of night and with the camera’s shutter open (for any amount of time) the photographer aluminates a subject with his choice of light sources. This method works because essentially photography is writing with light and with a blank canvas like darkness the possibilities are endless. I chose to photograph an old church that is near my parent’s house. Now this was not “ideal” because it was beside a road with occasional cars headlights interrupting. Also, down in the parking lot bellow was a street light. However, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. With this mindset I proceeded. I knew I did not want to put my light source straight on the church, because I wanted to show the texture of the old wood. I also wanted the front of the building to be semi consistent light source, but not blowing it out. After a few trials and errors, (a lot of errors) I figured out a time that worked. For this exposer below, my shutter was opened for twenty minutes; yes, you read that right twenty minutes. I painted with the flashlight on both sides of the façade: each side for five minutes. To soften the shadows, I lit the front straight on for four minutes. Lessons learned: have patience, that is the most important thing, also, check the cameras limit on long exposers to prevent noise. It is not exactly what I was going for, but I knew I needed my sleep so I could write my blog for you guys, though a nap might still be in order.


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