Did you ever have one of those nights when you’re sitting at home, flashlight in hand, looking a piece of steel wool and a whisk and wonder “what should I do tonight?”
Well, that’s not a problem anymore if you who went to Apache Junction the evening of November 18th with PAC to “Light Up The Night!” Graciously and courageously hosted by Alex McClure (more about the courageous part later), participants enjoyed a variety of ‘after-dark’ photographic experiences.
First – light painting. Set your camera up on a tripod, open the shutter, and ‘paint’ your subject with a flashlight. Not only will your subject stand out from the dark background, but the movement of the flashlight over it (keep it moving, don’t just light it all up at once) creates wonderful tones and textures. Moving subjects though the frame can create a ghost like image. Using gels over the flashlight will add color to the image.
Next – the Orb. Orbs (balls of light) are created when you swing glowing objects on a string over your head and around your body
(think of the glow sticks that they sell at fairs). Stand in one place, and just change the position of the object and you’ll get a globe effect when taken with a long exposure (start at f8 for 15 seconds). Twirl it in a circle while walking and you’ll create a glowing “Slinky” (a favorite of girls and boys – those too young to get that
shouldn’t be up that late at night).
I’ll admit I missed the orb photos – instead, I was roaming around and looking up. The stars were incredible, especially for those of us who live with street and city lights And I learned something about taking stars. I always thought the telescopic lens was the way to go. Little did I know a wider angle was better, allowing for a
longer exposure without making the stars look like little annoying scratches on your lens. At least that’s what mine usually look like.
Finally, the highLIGHT of the evening – the Steel Wool Spin! Before you try this at home, remember the following:
- The steel wool goes into a kitchen whisk
- The whisk is securely tied to a chain
- Light the steel wool using a 9v battery
- Wear cotton – don’t wear something like rayon because it melts. (Personally, I think if you need to be leery of your clothing melting while taking a photo, you might want to rethink your shoot).
- Have a fire extinguisher handy (see above point about melting – same thinking applies).
This shot is practically Alex’s trademark, and he reproduced the effect for us. (Yes, that’s Alex in the middle of the ball of sparks.) It’s an amazing effect. Thank you for sharing it with us. And thanks to all those PAC city slickers who came out to Apache Junction and aren’t in the dark anymore about creating photographic opportunities at night!
Here are a Few of the Cool Shots I got at the event!
My Website: http://www.klewickiphoto.com/
To Find this and other awesome steel wool photography events like this all year long join here for FREE!: https://captureschool.net/