Light Painting, July 20, 2013

If you have looked at the Photographers Showcase pages for Doerte Pavlik (and for Doerte’s “student” Nigel Hemingway), you may have noticed their fascinating and beautiful nightime photographs, in which part of the scene has been “painted” with light.  This process, when employed by a talented artist, changes photographs into paintings.  To see the magic of the effect look here and here.

Doerte kindly organized a workshop on Light Painting for BLPG members.  And Gun Granberg allowed us access to a magnificent ranch site, on a hill amidst huge hay fields, topped by the remains of an old, metal wheeled and lugged tractor.

We met at 8:45 pm, sun still shining brightly as it dipped towards the western horizon, the low angled light creating beautiful patterns across the rolling fields.  We trailed away, in an auto convoy, off Judson Road, along a route thoughtfully mowed for our vehicles, up the hill to park, not quite in a protective ring.  Stepping out into a mass of ravenously hungry mosquitoes, our well doped clothing, hands and faces only a partially successful  shield (they really were ravenous, and suicidal), we found ourselves immersed in standing hay and ox-eye daisies, looking out over an expanse of field and marsh, overhead an almost full moon now and then only partially dimmed by broken scattered clouds.

Of course, we weren’t there for the light, but for the dark.  Nevertheless, we had plenty of time to gather around Doerte, as she explained her approach and dispensed set-up advice, and to try a few practice shots of the moon, the scene, and the old tractor.

Once it got dark enough, we began our light painting exercise.  Here are some of the results.

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