Want to improve your light painting? Do you dream of defined glowing figures in your photos? Follow these steps and you can create bright Lomographs.
- Black cardboard
- Camera with Bulb mode. I used the Lubitel 166+
- Slow film, low ISO. I used Fuji Superia 100
- Cable release or some mechanism that allows you to leave the shutter open for a while
- Torch. I recommend one that has a button that allows you to turn on and off easily
- Silk paper or cellophane as filters in the torch if you want to add color your drawings
- Black clothes, and if you can, improvise a ninja mask
- You must take the photos in a place that is almost completely dark
1. Place black cardboards on a wall.
2. Place your camera loaded with a roll of low ISO on the tripod in front of the cards. Check the Bulb Mode. I used f. 16. Put the cable release on the camera. Ensure that in the frame you only see the black cardboard and no wall at all. Focus.
3. Look through the viewfinder and somehow mark the space that your camera captures. I made a tiny and very subtle chalk marks on the black cardboard.
4. Draw a chalk figure guide.
5. Dress in black. No joke! I even covered my head like a ninja, to avoid the light from the torch reflecting on my face, that way there wasn’t any possibility that the film captured me.
6. Practice how to hold your torch so that the light is pointing toward the camera when you are in a comfortable position to draw. I imagined that my torch was a big pencil and the tip was in the back, I forgot about the light and I was almost showing my back to the camera while drawing. Make sure you have access to on-off button so you can have separeted lines in your figure.
7. Turn off the light, leaving the room almost completly dark. It is important to leave a little light so you can see your picture guide, the minimum necessary. At first you will see nothing, but wait a few seconds, your eyes adjust to the darkness and begin to differentiate. It is only important that you recognize two things: the camera shutter and the chalk draw on the cardboard.
8. Shoot. Your camera is open, ready to capture the movements of light: start drawing! Turn on the torch, make a stroke, off. On, another stroke, off. And so… to do the drawing.
9. Concentrate yourself. You must remember what parts of the drawing you passed with the light and what parts you didn’t. You shouldn’t repeat strokes you don’t want to repeat or forget important details, like the ballerina shoes.
10. If you want color in your drawings, use silk paper or cellophane as filters in your torch. Hold the pieces on your hand so you can change colors while drawing.
11. Dance in the dark! Let yourself go! Remeber that the chalk drawing is only a guide, play with the light!
12. When you have finished the drawing, remember going to the camera first, finish the shot and then turn the lights on. It is very important! You could lose all the work done.
To write this tipster I took photos during the process with my phone, but it’s broken and I lost the images. At the end I like the ‘cartoons’, so “everything happens for a reason.” Also believed to have keeped the chalk drawing guide (it’s wrong for me to say, but it was very nice) but now I can’t find it.
I hope this tipster to inspire you. I’m already thinking about how to go one step further.