Hello friends. With the sun setting before I even have a chance to leave my house these days, thanks to the short days of winter, I have been playing with lightpainting techniques to see how they impact my images, especially in the dark. I must say, this technique can definitely take an ordinary, run-of-the-mill image, and turn it into a winning shot….one with some real pop.

First, I tried the technique on a rather phallic looking stump that graced the shores of Willingdon Beach on a recent trek along the beach. I really like the drama that unfolded in this picture.  Because of the beautiful sunset sitting directly behind it, without lightpainting, this shot would be nothing more than an average sillhouette. By utilizing a long exposure (I had on my George Lepp Solid ND Filter which gave me an 8-second exposure at f 11 (so everything is sharp). After I released the shutter, I “painted” the stump and foreground rocks with my 10 million candle flashlight for the duration of the exposure, lighting the entire stump in a fluent, “painting” motion. The result, is a dramatic oceanscape, one for the website 🙂

Since I was in light painting mode (and since my flashlight was full of juice), I decided to try adding some drama to a couple of my wife’s clown-like-dolls.  As if these little fellows needed the opportunity to look any more frightening.  The room was completely dark, allowing for a 25-second exposure. Stacy and I then painted the dolls with a couple of smaller flashlights.

Lastly, I went to one of my favourite shooting spots in Powell River, BC (Palm Beach) and light painted this funky log that reflected perfectly in a tidal pool, accentuated by the end of a December sunset. With a 12-second exposure (thanks Geaorge Lepp) I painted the log (and its reflection) with my flashlight.  I find this picture to really pop, adding drama to relatively unexciting natural light situation.

If you are interested in learning more about light painting, stay tuned for more info on my photography event Coast in Focus, happening here in Powell River May 28-30. I will have the poster up here next week. People are starting to get excited about it.

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