My Very First Attempt at Light Painting

It’s all right there in the title.

The second shot taken and the first one they saw, stoking their genuine gasps and surprise

Since my last post, I’ve been collaborating more with Hailey, the photographer I spoke of in my previous post. She’s a very talented, up and coming portrait photographer who’s currently an advanced amateur. We’ve connected a couple of times since to further expand her knowledge of lighting and to cover some photography basics she was never taught. Apparently she’s never taken an “introduction to photography” or “camera basics” course or watched any videos on the subjects. Her experience was to pick up and camera and run, skipping the crawl and walk stages. While she’s advanced quickly and is extremely talented, the ramifications of skipping the beginning is now starting appear as she finds difficulty in understanding concepts she’s now encountering.

Because of this, I’ve been doing my best with the limited amount of time we have to teach her those basic skills and explain how those pieces fit so she may continue expanding her creativity. She can now identify where she can go with things now that she understands how to navigate what were previously seen as pitfalls due to unlearned skills. I must say I do feel a sense of pride in being able to help another person out as it gives me purpose. Considering the stage she’s at, filling in those knowledge gaps has resulted in outsized leaps of understanding, which gives the both of us the exuberance in witnessing her make significant leaps in progress and quality.

Accompanying that little bit of shared knowledge was the opportunity to materially assist her in building up her travel lighting kit by donating a bunch of my unused gear, most of it simply being redundant pieces I’m able to spare. More excitingly, I was able to convince her to make her first pro lens purchase in support of an upcoming wedding rather than waiting until an arbitrary time. I was also able to get her the lens locally, with a discount, and picking it up in person at Glazer’s, since she was working and couldn’t go herself.

Anyways, that’s the quick catch up.

On Monday, we met up with Kelsey at West Hylebos Wetlands Park in Federal Way, to show her how to work with a 2 light setup. A recent family portrait session went long and into the evening. The failed result being due to poor light and she didn’t feel confident enough to try using strobes. What was supposed to be a chance for Kelsey and I to do some creative lighting shots, like long exposures, motion, colored lights and light painting, turned into a portrait practice session using 1 light, 2 lights and 2 lights somewhat creatively (by using one strobe to backlight the scene, simulating a setting sun, while using the key light to balance the exposure).

For this, Hailey drew while I did everything else.

Fortunately we had some time left after sundown to try some light painting. Despite having tried to explain the concept to Hailey a couple of weeks ago, she didn’t really grasp the working parts. Probably because of that, seeing the look on both of their faces when I played back the first exposure was heartwarming. Genuine exclamations of “oh my god” and Hailey actually taking pics and video of the photos being previewed on my camera made me smile. Hopefully they’ve both gained enough of an interest so that we can continue trying it more often in the future.

Well, that’s it for now.

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