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The Live Tree

By heyitshenry
Hello There,
I was doing some experimenting last night with some long exposures and playing with torches. I'm wondering if you have any good tips for this sort of photography? And what is the ideal sort of setting to use?

Henry FGrin

Tags: Night Trees Long exposure Specialist and abstract

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mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.1k 2476 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2019 1:03PM
Hi again, this is something that I have never tried, but a friend of mine has, see here.

What strikes me here is that not much happened in 20 seconds here - as compared with what happened in 66 seconds in Fiona's photo. So I guess my advice would be to move around a whole lot faster during the exposure, and set out with a clear aim as to the shapes that you want to create.

I'll ask her to have a look here.

dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1896 England
19 Jun 2019 3:08PM
I've done this a bit.

You need to use a lower ISO and a darker place (or time of day).

If you're going for a light pattern, move faster, and across more of the frame than here.

Alternatively, if you are 'painting with light' you need to move round yoru subject and light it selectively, without the torch apearing in the frame.

Viewfinding is hard work: ideally, you will have another light source that you can turn on to focus (manually, to avoid the AF doing its nut when you expose) and then turn off to expose.

Doing this solo, use the self-timer on the camera. For much longer exposures, you may need to explore the T setting, or B with a locking cable release (see camera manual - this is far more complicated these days with electronic shutters than it used to be!)
dark_lord Plus
17 2.9k 795 England
19 Jun 2019 10:44PM
It's a while since I did this, back in the days of fil I had numerous goes. Approach and technique with digital will be the same.

Lower ISO will allow you longer to move around, and you'll still get good illumination. I have used flash with gels, choosing a medium to high power setting which worked well and again didn't present any real exposure problems.
Modern LED torches are powerful and can do a good job.

Try not to get the light source in shot to avoid flare and hotspots unless you're after that specific effect. Certainly while you're painting as you'll get trails. Cover the torch or swith it off as you're moving to avoid trails too.

Wear dark clothing to avoid showing up on the image. You may look like special forces, but hey.

John's advice about using a lockable release is good. Or get an assistant or friend to fire the camera when you're in position with the light. You can ask them to cover the lens with a black card while you move around and when you're ready in position they can uncover the lens. Repeat as necessary.
What you can consider is taking several images and combine them later, erasing different parts of different images. As a simple example, light the left and right parts of the scene separately in two images, then combine later. Useful if you want to use multiple colouirs.

I'm not asking for votes but here are some examples from my portfolio:
More trees
20 Jun 2019 9:07AM
Thank you all,
The reason why the ISO was so high was because i had been trying to get pictures of stars but nothing good came out. I have tried using torches on manual focus to get it focussed but I am still learning. The Flash with the gels seems like a very cool idea, I've just used cloths and T-shirts before in some others before. My dad had said that this one was one of the better ones due to the simplicity and light so I posted it to see how it did. I might try a cable release shutter for long exposures. Possibly Multiple exposures.
Thank you for the inspiration Moira.

Henry FGrin

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