Snapshot to Great Shot: Painting With Light

The talented students on week one of my Hudson River Photography Workshop are getting some great shots – from dawn to dark. I'll be posting more photographs here in a few days, but for now, I wanted to share with you an image that was certainly a group effort.

After one of our group dinners, several of the photographers dropped by my studio to do some painting with light photography.

The photographers:
Tom Barry
Jay Clark
Ellen Harasimowicz
Angela Marshall
Lisa Acinkewics

The opening image for this post is the painting with light image. Info:
Camera on a tripod
Five-second exposure
ISO 200
Subject held almost perfectly still

The basic technique: Use a small, low-power flashlight and "paint" the subject with light. After several attempts, you'll get the desired effect. If the subject is too light, reduce your ISO setting - and vice-versa. You can also vary the exposure by changing the aperture. You can also change the exposure by changing the flashlight-to-subject distance, and by changing the speed at which you move the light.

The other photo is a boring, on-camera flash shot that shows how a snapshot can be turned into a great shot.

Have fun with this one.

I hope to see you on one of my workshops. . . which are great fun!

Explore the light,

P.S. I added the lens flare effect in Photoshop using the Lens Flare filter. I also cloned-out some of the background to make it go almost perfectly black. And, that's an "R" on the left - painted with the flashlight.