I’ve been fascinated by “light painting” ever since seeing some of O. Winston Link’s amazing steam locomotive images from the 50’s.
Combining multiple images lit with only a single light is a favorite of today’s architectural photographers and I wanted to see if I could apply the technique to camping scenes. So I read Eric Curry’s great book, Painting with Light, Lighting and Photoshop Techniques for Photographers published by Amherst Media and watched some great behind-the-scenes videos of him lighting his complex scenes at his website: American Pride and Passion.
One of my latest images is of a tent in a stand of Aspen trees. There are not as many details to worry about in this scene so it was a little easier to light. I used five different images, lit with a flashlight plus a fluorescent lantern in the tent. All images were shot at f/5.6, 15sec, ISO 400 with the 14-24mm lens.
I was asked by c’t Digital Photography magazine to write an article on creativity and learning to “see”. It appears in their Spring 2014 issue. It’s a great magazine, so check it out.
A Santa Barbara charter boat company, Truth Aquatics, contacted me about a new life jacket info sheet for their fleet of boats. I thought shooting the new images on the boat instead of in the studio would really elevate the attention of the passengers.
Cherie Noel, a LA based model, joined us on a trip over to Catalina Island and brought along some of her favorite swimsuits. When I saw her 40’s style bathing suit I knew that was the look we needed. Life jackets aren’t very flattering so having a talented and beautiful model like Cherie really helps. I’m always impressed with how much effort good models put into their job. It may look easy but it really isn’t.
I lit the scene with two speedlights; a gridded rim on the left and the key was a shoot-thru umbrella on the right. Ambient was “soft sun”, I could just see a light shadow. ISO 200, 1/200sec f/8.
I had a chance to photograph a couple of the lifeguards at the Santa Barbara historic Los Banos del Mar city pool. It was a bright, sunny day so I moved Dustin into the shade cast by a palm tree at the shallow end of the pool. I set up one flash, gridded, on camera left to give him some edge lighting and the key flash on the right, no diffusion, just a bare flash. ISO 200 at 1/250sec, f/8, blew out the background by about 1 2/3 stops. Overexposing the sunlit area kept the background from looking too busy and really helped focus the eye on Dustin. This lighting/exposure technique is a favorite of fashion shooters on location.
Santa Barbara lifeguard Dustin McQuary
During this summer’s InWater Photography course at Brooks Institute one of the students brought a silicone mermaid tail, designed by Eric Ducharme, on our 5-day boat trip down to Catalina Island. Getting into the tail, and then getting the mermaid into the water, was a group effort but it looked amazing in the water.
Angelina and Todd helping put the tail on Cherie. Lots of baby oil was involved.
Mermaids Jane Austin and Hannah Geer