Wondering what a certain technique is called

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by tpavur, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. tpavur macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    A while back a friend of mine was taking a picture in the dark using an external flash, whatever he did the final product either had three of me standing in the diffrent spots he told me to stand or he would snap the camera and then have me use a light to write something and the final pic would show me standing as normal with the word spelled out in the light I created. what is this technique called so that i can learn how to do it? also can this be done in daylight conditions?
  2. ComputersaysNo macrumors 6502


    Apr 15, 2010
  3. petjuli macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2010
    In camera terms you might also call it bulb exposure. The premise is that you set your camera to shutter priority mode and then set the shutter to a number at least a second or longer, for light artwork it can be up to 30 seconds. If you want to control just exactly how long the shutter stays open, then look into bulb exposure mode.

    As for your second question, it doesn't work that well in the daytime, ends up looking like a blurry blob of nothing.
  4. tpavur thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    so basicly it's the same concept as shooting a waterfall and geting the blur... when I take these kinds of shots does it need to be on a tripod for either the light artwork or the waterfall? curious because i'm going to be try this today (waterfall) and i'm wondering if I will mess up without a tripod. I'm sure it sounds like crazy noob questions but I have been reading today and it talked about slowing down the shutter speed for waterfalls but did not mention the need of a tripod.
  5. dcains macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2007
    You can easily perform the same technique in bright daylight if you use a ND (neutral density) filter on your lens and have the camera mounted on a steady tripod. Depending on how long of an exposure you're looking for, and at what aperture, you may need a very dark filter, perhaps on the order of 8 or 10 stops. This technique is also very useful for removing people from an image, while the background remains clear. An example might be wanting a picture of the Lincoln Memorial without the tourists in the shot.
  6. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Yes you will need a tripod for the waterfall shots since the best blur comes at around shutter speeds of ~1/2sec or slower. Image stabilization on your lens will help, but at 1/2 second it's still going to be blurry due to camera motion. Take many repetitions of the same shot, so you can pick the sharpest one afterwards.

    Some alternatives are to try finding a rock or something to rest the camera on, as it will be lying still during the expsoure.

  7. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    Note however that this is isn't suited for the "multiple exposures of one person with flash" technique, since you'd need pretty strong flash to work through that heavy ND.
  8. bocomo macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    New York

    if you have Photoshop, you can also take around 20-30 shots on a tripod of the scene with people in it (same exposure and everything)

    in Bridge, select the file, then go to Tools>Photoshop>Load Files into Photoshop Layers
    select all of the layers, then go to Layer>Smart Object>Convert into Smart Object
    finally, go to Layer>Smart Object>Stack Mode>Median

    usually removes 90% or so

    (the people that don't move much throughout the shots will not really be removed)
  9. tpavur thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    Wow you guys are awesome! so next investment for me is going to be a tripod. and by the Photoshop comment I see that Aperture will not work for everything. Thank you guys for your help.
  10. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

    Mar 14, 2009
    Houston, TX
    "Painting with Light" or "Light Painting"



Share This Page