I wanted to look at the possibilities offered by light painting. This is the system where you use a very long exposure in the dark to draw with a light source. The long exposure captures everything the light does but everything else remains dark. This can lead to some very impressive results and opens a world of new ideas and creativity.
The best way for me to learn about this was to give it a try. There are two methods I wanted to experiment with.
I made this image in my kitchen. I waited for nightfall, closed all the blinds to block any street lighting and turned off all other internal lights. I set my camera up on a tripod, switched it to bulb mode (bulb mode allows you to hold the shutter open in definitely) and used a remote control to trigger the shutter. Using my poor artist skills I drew the stick man sitting in the chair. It was not as easy at it looked, you are not able to see what the camera has recorded so you have to work from memory for proportions and where parts of what you have already done are but after a few attempts I was happy the results.
Wire Wool Spinning
If you set fire to wire wool in burns away at the material and when spun it will send off flying sparks. This can create very dramatic and surreal images. I attempted this with a friend in an old abandoned railway tunnel. Having seen the amazing effects this method can have I chose this setting because I wanted to add atmosphere and theatre to the images. In addition to the location we also brought a bike and a gas mask.
We placed the wire wool into a bird suet feeder and hooked it onto a dog lead but an egg whisk and strong string would also work.
We used the same method as the torch and switched the cameras to bulb mode and opened the shutter using a remote control. We made a few test images before creating the ones below.
We spun the burning wool around to create the spiral effete and the sparks that flew off it looked like a fiery rain. We used a torch to light up the person and the bike by slowly shining a beam across everything. The total exposure time o create the whole effect was around 10 minutes.
This method offers different opportunities and ways to add to my task 3 images but at the moment I am not sure how it would fit into the person I have chosen to portray. I will keep this in mind though and if I am unable to use it this time I might on future projects.