Painting with light
27/01/11A friend of mine and I are slowly in the process of doing a body of work together. He is an artist, and we thought it might be a great idea to meld our two skills into an exhibition some time in the future. Basing ourselves around local beaches, I take a series of photos while he paints the scene with me in it....(whether I'll be in all the upcoming work is to still be decided). You can check out his work at www.sidsledge.com
Anyway, we headed down to Bondi Beach but by the time we got there it was way past the optimal time. So with the light levels virtually non-existent, I decided that I would 'paint' the foreground of the image with light. I exposed for the lights in the background which gave me a shutter speed of around 25 seconds. While the shutter was open, I fired my flash gun manually. Taking the flash off the camera, I 'painted' the scene in bursts of light. The beauty of digital is that you get an instant preview after the exposure has been taken. This gave me an idea of where I needed to add or subtract 'paint'.
The ideal exposure is the one you see here, with a bit of post-production tweaking to exposure and contrast, and neutralizing 'contaminated' light in the background city lights.