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light work

Posted by
theSubtleSensor (Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom) on 26 March 2008 in Abstract & Conceptual.

I tried experimenting with light graffiti tonight. This shot is a combination of different layers - a quick edit and I'm happy enough with it to share it, although I could probably improve on it if I wasn't so tired!

SIGMA SD14 10 second F/2.5 ISO 50 20 mm

I'm not really postimg much on here these days. I only intend to post my personal projects or experimental work as this is what I need feedback on - so please do leave a constructive comment or a star rating.

These days I post more regularly to the blog on my website, so skate on over there to see what I've been up to recently: Freelance Photographer in Newcastle upon Tyne | Subtle Sensor Photography

You can find my fashion and portrait work here: Subtle Sensor on Model Mayhem

Thanks for dropping by!


pLusOne from Cheonan, South Korea

wow. your hands must've been busy making this. cool one, though

26 Mar 2008 5:19am

@pLusOne: Ha ha! Yes, its a simple technique but it took some time to get it right!

Faramarz from Tehran, Iran

wow! beautiful!!!

26 Mar 2008 8:09am

@Faramarz: Thank you =D)

Marta from Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal

WOWWWW!!! So nice

26 Mar 2008 9:33am

@Marta: =D)

babak from Delft, Netherlands

Wow I had never seen such a fine Light graffiti picture before. This is a unique picture. Well done. Its a good source of inspiration.

26 Mar 2008 10:11am

@babak: Thank you very much Babak. There are better out there though; just put 'light graffiti' into Google (or Blackle if you're enviromentally friendly).

Viewfinder from Bradenton, United States

I think you did an outstanding job with the layering; the buildings in the background and the light in the foreground play to my eyes like a lively bit of music would play to my ears.

26 Mar 2008 10:49am

@Viewfinder: Wow, thanks! Great comment VF =D)

danthro from Suburbia, United States

cool shot! i like how you captured the light and added the light graffiti. how does one generally create light graffiti?

26 Mar 2008 7:18pm

@danthro: Thanks danthro, light graffiti is a simple technique; just tripod the camera, set it to a wide aperture and a 30sec exposure then grab a torch and start playing.

There's a metecafe tutorial on it (just type light graffiti into google) that reccommends you use different coloured lights but I found it easier to use a blue/white modified LED mag-light and then alter the colour in Photoshop.

Graham Russon from Cape Town, South Africa

Great shot, some insight in how you achieved this would be appreciated.

26 Mar 2008 7:23pm

@Graham Russon: Hi, thanks for the comment. Its really just a case of 'drawing' with a torch or different coloured torches over a long exposure and a wide aperture. I had the camera on a tripod and shot first the grass, then the stem, the center and then the petals.

In photoshop just drag and drop the layers on top of eachother and change the blending mode to lighten. Voi la! I didn't have different coloured torches so I messed around with layer masks and hue/sat adjustment levels.

The DRphoto part is actually a seperate (vertical) shot which I crudely blended in with this collage.

Ronnie 2¢ from London, United Kingdom

“ . .happy enough . .” ?? . . this is brilliant! I’ve not tried this but it looks pretty neat to me. Love that flower . .

26 Mar 2008 8:41pm

@Ronnie 2¢: Hey thanks Ronnie =D) this is just my first attempt, I wanted to see exactly how to do it. I think there is a lot of potential if I can get better with the torch and come prepared with some ideas!

Tracey from Baltimore, United States

Great job. I like the choice of layers...gives the feel of graffiti. I have yet to try it out, but I will give light writing a shot one day!

26 Mar 2008 10:13pm

@Tracey: Thanks Tracey, I found working with layers easier than trying to nail it all in one go!

MadScientist from Düsseldorf, Germany

Very cool! Love these neon colours!

26 Mar 2008 11:46pm

@MadScientist: Thankks, that was mostly post processing but I think the media lends itself to such treatment =D)

Jarrard from Athens, GA, United States

Well done- a most enjoyable "painting with light" photo.

27 Mar 2008 1:41am

@Jarrard: Thank you!

amy from Rocky Mountain House, Canada

Really FABulous, Dan!! Love the power of the flower!! Still haven't had time to send that e-mail on how I did that image you were interested in about the layers.... will get to it soon.. ;-)

27 Mar 2008 3:34am

@amy: Thanks Amy =D) Don't worry, there's no rush for the info - I'm just curious!

Stu from Kyoto, Japan

This is WAY cool. A very successful experiment.

27 Mar 2008 4:24am

@Stu: Thanks Stu, I will certainly be having another crack at this sometime =D)

pedro alexandre from loures, Portugal

nice long exposure, nice tech.

28 Mar 2008 11:05pm

@pedro alexandre: Thanks Pedro =D)

10 second
ISO 50
20 mm