Hi there and welcome to my blog page.
Here you will generally see the goings on behind my light painting photography
and all the ways that my great ideas generally end up on the cutting room floor.
Sometimes, with perseverance, I get lucky, and you will see that here too.
Prepare to be amazed ( or maybe not ), see something different ( or maybe not ),
have a bit of a laugh ( yep probably ) but mostly I hope there is some little piece of knowledge
that may help you when next you have a crazy idea.
Cheers and enjoy
Hi there again.
Todays blog comes about by seeing these 2 incredibly fantastic pair of shoes in a 2nd hand shop. I knew the lady and asked very nicely to borrow them for the afternoon. No worries she said and I replied that I would return them first thing the next morning. Woo hoo! Once again this should be a no brainer, fantastic shoes...tick, camera...tick, torch...tick, wait a minute, someone needs to wear these to make them look even better. Damn, what is the size of these things?. Size 8 well that is average right?. Hang on, today is a Tuesday, everyone is working, mmmmm. Call in the friend card I reckon. The thing is I have a mate who is actually a bloke that I know is home. If I remember correctly ( which I do ) he does like to wear pink. One phone call later with a query on shoe size that works in my favour, I drive directly to his rural property which just so happens has a lovely big shed with no windows. Magic.
Ok, when I arrived we gave the shoes a try on and found that only the pair with the guns would fit due to the no back feature on them. Next thing on the list was that matey could not even put both shoes on and stand up let alone walk in them. Right.....out to the shed, shoes in hand, while trying to contemplate the logistics of how we were going to tackle the dilemma of " I can't walk in these bl#%dy things!". In the shed we set up some boxes so that 1. I didn't need to lie on the floor to get the shot 2. Matey could stand on said boxes and hang on to the rafters to keep still.
Before anything was going to happen, I naturally set my tripod up, camera at a 30 sec exposure, ISO as low as it goes and f-stop at 22. No light on this baby except what I was going to add. So one shoe was put on and up we get on the boxes with a lot of help. I slip the other shoe on when he was in place and roof rafters suitably latched on to. Now my friend is the most wonderful person in the world but there were 2 things that we discovered were going to limit the amount of time we dedicated to getting this shot.
1. we both weren't spring chickens ( he more so than me ) and 2. he had a bad back...poo ( well something similar to that ) anyway, I knew that I would have to get this done ASAP. 4 shots in and he was shaking. Trying to not fall off those stilts and remain still was using every muscle that men generally don't ever need to concern themselves with. Ok 2 minutes it was and I was going to cross everything that I had that one of them would be ok to work with. Getting down off the boxes was a nightmare, but I had his pink crocs ( I did say he wore pink ) ready to slip on, in front of a directors chair and a smoke ready to be lit to calm his spirit.
Not bad for a bloke in high heels I say. I got something workable, and since this was an unplanned exercise I had to be thankful for whatever came my way. Thanks to my very best matey!
Now.....about those other shoes. I definitely needed a woman and maybe a small one at that. You know what is great about teenagers in year 12? They can generally be relied upon to have a tutor and thankfully mine had a little lady just perfect for the task. I called ahead and yep it was a goer. Go you good thing!. She was a runner too so was likely to be in shorts....yep, have great legs....yep, shaved yepiddy yep yep. Once again we are not spring chickens and there was that damn bad back again. No worries sunshine, been there done that. Sit on that chair, close everything up in the visitors bedroom and snap snap snap we were off.
Did it work????
You betcha it did.
Fun times with 2 very fine people that handed over their bodies for me to attempt some fine art. Well done and thanks from the bottom of my heart.
Here are the end results in a spectacularly disorganised light painting attempt.
Drag Queens in their favourite numbers should be next on the agenda I reckon. If you happen to want something like this for your own ( I've had practice! ) .... drop me a line and we will see what can be worked out. Nothing like a good pair of shoes right!
Hope you enjoyed this blog
Firstly, I would like to apologise for not having any of the first images I took on this particular bike as they were so atrocious that I probably deleted them directly off the camera before downloading. Suffice to say that nothing was working out but I will give you a rundown on the proceedings from the beginning.
1. Arrive to find a double garage emptied of all vehicles and said bike in pride of place. ( yippedy doo dah this is going to be fantastic!)
2. Ok...set up bike at back of garage and tripod at roller door, check. Cover windows with black bed sheet, check. Get out old faithful globe torch with toilet roll taped to end to stop sneaky light from getting through, add baking paper to end of roll with elastic band. ( Wow, so technical right? so prepared right? no brainer...this is going to be the best photoshoot EVERRRRR)
3. F22, no ISO, shutter speed 30 sec... PHOTO. Check back of camera for the magnificence. Barely any photo there at all! What is going on????. Aaaahhhh I say in my most knowledgable Dali Lama impersonation. Not enough light getting through the baking paper I reckon, take off the baking paper and go again. NOPE! Ok maybe the globe torch is not strong enough for the size of the bike, up the ISO that could help. NOPE! Ok LED torch changeover that's gotta do it. Bugger....the whole garage is lit up like the light was turned on. Zip the ISO again. NO - NAHHH - NOPE - REALLY ????
4. Breathe in...breathe out....repeat.
5. Right, as Bruce Lee once said.... " Be water my friend ". The owner of the bike offered up a larger LED torch to use, and as the bike was silver I thought that would be ok. Add toilet roll and baking paper to diffuse the light. Get in so close that whatever light that comes out can only touch the bike. I wanted no longer than 30sec to create the image as it forces me to get the most out of the short period of time ergo, not all of the bike will make it in the photo. Make my brain work differently by starting from the back of the bike and working forward. All the other images so far went from front to back. Anything else??? Nope ( said that a lot today ) breathe in and do it!.
6. Hooley Dooley, OMG, ringa ding ding I think we were onto something! Repeat repeat repeat Wow, this might work! Wheel didn't make it in 30sec timeframe
Damn it! No windshield. So close I can feel it
BOOM! I wasn't really good friends with the bike owner so inside I was doing naked backflips around the garage. On the outside though, we looked at the back of the camera, took one breath in....and stopped breathing right then. When that happens you know the magic has slapped you in the face. We turned to each other and the smiles slowly got bigger and bigger and the owner said " I think you got it ". I replied "You know what mate ( we ARE Aussies )...I think you're right".
The end result was worth it we think. Happy days for all and only minimal photoshopping. Yee Haaaaa!
I hope you enjoyed this blog and I will be endeavouring to repeat ( if I can ) other motorbikes in the future. All my artworks are printed onto a brushed metal finish and of course I can be commissioned to do others as gifts or corporate commissions or just because you want one.
There is a local lady in town with terrific dreadlocks, of which I thought it would be a cool idea to see if I could actually light paint them.
Always my biggest problem is obtaining a completely dark room in which to light paint. Even at night the street lights or a full moon can stuff things up. It is surprisingly difficult to remove all light from a room ( especially during the day ). However, my model Deb went to great lengths to ensure the best possible darkness, with nailing thick blankets to the window frames. Sufficient darkness was achieved, so then we moved on to the design of her light painting. Initially we planned on a profile of her face with her dreadlocks pushed across a pillow with one arm bent behind and curling above her hair and the other arm bent normally and placed on her waist. The lines were terrific and her hair looked fabulous but the very unfortunate part was that the photo looked rather like a swastika. Although this symbol is a religious symbol used in Hinduism and Buddhism to name a few, the overriding first impulse is to think of the Nazis and it's horrendous usage during WWII.
We scrapped that design and went with the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid- for those of you who have not come across this saying before.). Always always fall back to simplicity I reckon. So..... I had Deb lie on her back with her hair falling over the back of the foot of her bed. It has corner posts so I placed a pillow on top of each and placed her hands on top of them. Looked great while the light was on, but as I have learned many a time before, things can be deceiving in the light. When you get to light paint the edges of your posed body, things can look decidedly crappy really when you check out the final resulting image. Thankfully, it was not the case in this instance. All I had to make sure of was that her hands were roughly at the same height and not wonky.
After achieving a great result, we thought we would try one more for luck. Off came the clothes and we sat Deb facing away from the camera on a chair. She lent forward over the back of the chair which created a more hourglass figure. By this point my torch battery was fading, which creates a redder glow to the image. We took one like this then changed torches. The new torch created a whole different feel and glowed off her skin beautifully. Once again her hair looked fab!. What do you reckon?. Which would be your choice?