Monday, May 31, 2010

Intro to Light Stencils

Today I was able to make use of all my new equipment, namely my new tripod head and my remote shutter release. I was trying a technique called a "light stencil." It's a form of light painting that involves the use of a stencil cut out of paper to shape the light. It seems quite simple but is in fact difficult to execute. It took me the better part of an hour and lots of experimentation to get this one, and it's not even that great.

When light painting, the aperture has less to do with the depth-of-field, and is really used only as a deciding factor for how bright your various light "paintbrushes" will look. Shutter speed can be as long as you need, and I use ISO primarily to balance out distance between me and a flash, if I use one.

click to enlarge, or see it on Flickr
Aperture: f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 26 seconds
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 18mm

More to come as I improve on my methods here. I will say light painting is infinitely more fun when I don't need to worry about fitting everything in in 15 seconds.

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