Light Painting Roses -
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Light Painting Roses

This is a really beautiful technique if you want to create some great vignettes and interesting lighting patterns.
I’ve used it in the past, and have had some mixed results, but I think flowers really look great when you simply use a torch to light them.

Being able to move the light around freely and push illumination into the darker parts of the scene, creates a unique dimensionality to the completed exposure.

These shots were created using a Cree LED torch, and by moving the light beam quickly over the flowers I got a fairly even exposure, but I didn’t allow the light to spill too far from the vase and onto the floor or background, this created the strong vignette.

If you haven’t tried Light Painting, why not give it a try?

Firstly ensure the room is dark, and that your shutter can be opened long enough to allow the light from your torch to burn into the sensor.
With such slow shutter speeds you’ll have to place your camera on a tripod, but make sure that you switch off any image stabilisers.
I also find it easier to manually focus my lens. (Obviously, switch the room lights on, or point your torch at the subject, so that you can see what you’re doing).
The trick is never to allow the light to shine in one spot for long enough to over expose any part of the image. I use a smooth but fairly fast circular motion with the torch to get nice even results.
You also have to take care not to point the beam of the torch directly into the camera lens.

I tried a few different exposures ranging from 10 – 30 seconds with varying apertures from f5.6 – f11.
I settled for these settings in the end – 30 seconds @f11 and ISO 100, with my camera’s white balance set to 5600 Kelvin.
Although I probably could have spent more time on the composition, the idea here was to practice using a technique that can be very useful, especially for photographing accessories and the rings at a wedding.

The biggest problem is trying to find an area where I can reduce the ambient light enough earlier in the day.

I usually end up on my hands and knees, in a wardrobe or a closet.

Triptych of roses, an example of light painting with an LED torch Light Painting using an LED Torch 30 secs @f11 ISO 100

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