Tony here with a quick Public Service Announcement... Photography is supposed to be fun so why not try something new and different? I know the importance and often seriousness of our work for those of us who take pictures for a living. But I also know that we enjoy what we do and I just wanted to remind us of this fact. Our transition to digital brought us so many great benefits that there is not enough space to talk about them all. But the one thing I hope people will keep in mind is that trying something new or fun is, well essentially, FREE. It takes a little time for testing but unlike the film days when every exposure cost us about $3.00, our testing in today's world doesn't cost us a cent.
In a recent workshop, I was playing with painting with light as it has made a recent resurgence in the market. More and more people are amazed at what is possible today. Sorry, but it is not new. Thirty years ago while shooting weddings I would often borrow the rings from the bride and groom as well as the bouquet, garter, invitation, napkins, and any other small little detail from the wedding and would head to a dark coat closet or other dark area or room at the reception. I would then lock open my shutter with a locking cable release, grab a small mini-mag flashlight and go to work painting. That image would then end up in the album up front. They loved these little details...
Here is the sample from the workshop and the overall exposure was approximately three to four minutes, f11, ISO 400 while walking around a dark room with a couple of gels in my hand. The big trick is to keep the light source moving NON-STOP in order to have softer shadows and highlights. To determine the exposure, TRY IT. I have a lot of experience doing this and can usually get it very close to what I want with the first exposure. But consider starting your tests at the above settings and just try it. Your results will depend on the distance to the subject and the brightness of the flashlight. Folks, this image has NO post processing or global adjustments. It's straight from the camera.
Go have fun. Take your camera out today or tonight. Go on... Go play and let's all enjoy our craft by trying something new ... or old.