2020—All Aglow

My Christmas bouquet of all white spider mums turned out to be an experiment in light painting for me. I really enjoy light painting and the unique effects that I can create but maybe I should say “backlight painting” because although I started light painting this flower from the front and side, I realized as I viewed the images that those with backlit petals were more interesting and unique. So I decided to create an image where most of the petals were backlit. Since the light source for this technique is a hand held flashlight, no two images will be the same. Slight nuances can make a huge difference in an image. It’s absolutely necessary to view what you’ve done as you’re working because you will see subtle changes depending on where the light is directed. Some work; some don’t. What I’ve learned is that once I open the shutter, I start to develop a rhythm and a pattern so it becomes easier to duplicate a look and build on that. Each image is a long exposure so you can take as much time as needed to light paint an image so long as you’re in a very dark environment. For this image in my dark garage, I set my Nikon Z7 with the 105mm Micro lens to f/16, ISO 64, and the shutter to “Bulb” so I could hold the shutter open as long as I needed. This image took 20 seconds to create. This was a relatively short light painting because the subject was only about 6 inches in diameter and it took just a few movements to direct light through the translucent petals without overexposing them.

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