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Thread started 14 Jan 2013 (Monday) 18:20
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Trying to learn Light Painting (Evo X)

 
SilverJester
Member
104 posts
Joined Dec 2005
Location: South Bend, IN
     
Jan 14, 2013 18:20 |  #1

So this is my second attempt at light painting. I should've cleaned and dried the car first, but I always take these experimental shots and expect to do more learning than coming away with a good photo (and then I kick myself after I get what I believe could be a good photo with a dirty car). The final image is a composite of about 20 images, mostly for the exterior (only 2 were used for the interior). I lit the car with a LED shop light, in my garage with all lights off and 30second exposures. Aside from the dirty car, I think I could have lit the hood a bit better as it's got some random dark areas.

But I'm really interested to hear what you guys think! I still want to learn how to get better/bigger/more visible light streaks in the paint and even in the windows, but I think I have a better understanding of what to do for my next shot.

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8355/8381196647_4142ea598b_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/silverjester/8​381196647/  (external link)
LP2 (1 of 22)-Edit-Edit-Edit.jpg (external link) by silver_jester_gsx (external link), on Flickr

Alex
My Flickr (external link) Page
Canon 40D | Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 | EF 50mm f1.4 USM | 28-135mm IS USM | Youngnuo RF-603 Triggers | (2) Youngnuo YN-560 III Speedlites | (2) Light Stands | Vanguard AltaPro 263AT w/ GH-100 Head

  
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StaticMedia
Senior Member
875 posts
Joined Dec 2011
     
Jan 14, 2013 20:03 |  #2

Hrmm depends on what look you want. I've experimented with LP on other things, no cars yet, but for me a rule of thumb is to keep yourself and/or any reflection from the element of your light source out of the frame which can be hard to do, especially on reflective surfaces. I can see a bit of something there on your driver's side mirror that looks like fragments of your brush. Also consider yourself in the frame, you gotta Runnn! before you are exposed as mud.

I like what you did here around the perimeter of the car as the car almost looks like it has underbody lights, but the shadow under the body lets us know thats not the case and gives the car a nice luster. The rest of the car is unevenly lit, and you have some LED looking blue on the hood which is distracting from the goldenish' light elsewhere. The Evo appears to have marblized paint due to this...or could be considered under "police spotlight" which could also complete a theme if thats what you are going for.

I feel like your perimeter exposure of the underbody light is the strong point. The shape of light seems to accent the car well and fades away nicely, while the light on the car's body seems to imply quick and dirty police work. Both fit the subject matter of the Evo. The fragments on the driver mirror and the rear of the drivers side are quite distracting though.

Im a noob at LP as well, but I would consider even using an ND filter and exposing longer so that you can paint for longer, trying to stay out of the frame as much as possible. And watch those LED's (even the "white" are blue.




  
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SilverJester
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Joined Dec 2005
Location: South Bend, IN
     
Jan 15, 2013 06:47 |  #3

Thanks for the feedback. I think I did a pretty good job of keeping myself out of the photo. But I was wondering what that fragment around the driver's mirror was. I kept thinking it was some weird capture of the mud that was unfortunately on the mirror, but you're right, it must be the light I was using (I hadn't even considered that). I know that's distracting but ultimately I left it in because I thought it looked better than the mud on the mirror and it helps to hide it lol.

The middle (top to bottom) of the doors were not lit in any of my composing shots, except for the shot with the headlights on (this in turn also made the taillights come on, and reflected off the garage door behind the car). My attention when I took that composing photo was only for the headlight, so at the time, the reflections in the door didn't matter. It was only when I sat down to edit the final image, that I realized I hadn't lit that part of the car so the only thing I could use was the image that had reflections on the door. Lesson learned.

My biggest mistake was how I thought the light painting process worked. I was trying to acheive something like this (external link), obviously I missed my mark by a lot. But the reason is that I though I only had to light the body lines of the car. I think I also need a brighter light. I still like what I got overall, but I have to try again and see if I can get that "sleek/glossy" light painted look.


Alex
My Flickr (external link) Page
Canon 40D | Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 | EF 50mm f1.4 USM | 28-135mm IS USM | Youngnuo RF-603 Triggers | (2) Youngnuo YN-560 III Speedlites | (2) Light Stands | Vanguard AltaPro 263AT w/ GH-100 Head

  
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PhotosGuy
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Jan 17, 2013 08:44 |  #4

I think I also need a brighter light. I still like what I got overall, but I have to try again and see if I can get that "sleek/glossy" light painted look.

You don't need a brighter light. You need a broader light, like a fluorescent tube or softbox to put better highlights in it. You're trying to get this effect without the white reflectors. (Which I prefer for control.) Here's an example of a black Chrysler 300 posted by spot9 in The automotive strobist setup pic thread.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
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jjphoto
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Location: Melbourne
     
Jan 17, 2013 14:48 |  #5

Alex, I'm not sure you have a grasp of what lightpainting (external link) is. I like the effect you've ctreated, and it is still light painting, but it's not the type that you describe, with long highlights. People commonly use your version with strobes to light various bits of the car and comp them into one.

1/ Put the car in a very dark environment where you can have a 1 or 2 min exposure for the background but where there is little or no stray light on the car itself. EG:

IMAGE: http://photocornucopia.com/images/Automotive/l_181_pc_400.jpg

IMAGE: http://photocornucopia.com/images/Automotive/l_229_pc_400.jpg

2/ Light the car itself with a continuous light whilst walking around the car. This step has lots of little nuances that come with practice and depend on the cat being shot but this is at which point the car itself is lit. You can walk in front of the camera if you take certain steps to sheild the lens. There's lots more info about it here (external link).

IMAGE: http://photocornucopia.com/images/Automotive/l_180_pc_400.jpg

IMAGE: http://photocornucopia.com/images/Automotive/l_228_pc_400.jpg

3/ If you've walked around the car then you might have to composite background and lightpainted images together, but you can avoid this altogether in many cases.

IMAGE: http://photocornucopia.com/images/Automotive/l_179_pc_400.jpg

IMAGE: http://photocornucopia.com/images/Automotive/l_227_pc_400.jpg

You don't need an exceptionally bright light but the size/shape of the light will determine the size of the reflection in the car. Some people use LED work lights or fluorescent lights (external link), some use softboxes. You can use amost anything.

These are examples from a 3 foot fluoro (external link):

IMAGE: http://photocornucopia.com/images/Automotive/l_480_pc_400.jpg

PhotoCornucopia.com (external link)

  
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SilverJester
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104 posts
Joined Dec 2005
Location: South Bend, IN
     
Jan 18, 2013 02:47 |  #6

Thanks for the help guys. I actually have been ding a lot of reading (including the photocornucopia site...lots of good info there), and had already decided to try it out with a florescent light (actually 2 tubes, all I had was a ceiling light from the garage, kind of big an awkward but it worked). So I woke up early this morning, went out to the garage and gave it a shot. At first I was getting similar results (better lit, but lacking the lines I was looking for), then (on accident) I turned the light horizontally rather than vertically as I passed over the car. This gave me the effect I was after! I did still go over the roof with it held vertically however. I'm super excited about the results, it's quite possibly my best photo to date imo.

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8358/8390850163_76afd9b1fd_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/silverjester/8​390850163/  (external link)
LP3_floro (external link) by silver_jester_gsx (external link), on Flickr

I do have some speedlites on order, when they get here I want to try combining the 2 techniques (strobes for a soft even coverage of the car, and florescent tube for the highlights) and definitely going to have to try with some white reflectors like spot9 as his results look perfect. I also want to get out of the garage and try it with some more exciting backgrounds.

C&C on the new image is appreciated.

Alex
My Flickr (external link) Page
Canon 40D | Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 | EF 50mm f1.4 USM | 28-135mm IS USM | Youngnuo RF-603 Triggers | (2) Youngnuo YN-560 III Speedlites | (2) Light Stands | Vanguard AltaPro 263AT w/ GH-100 Head

  
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Trying to learn Light Painting (Evo X)
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