Random Photo – June 2, 2012

This photo, shot using a technique called Light Painting, I shot back in 2002.  I made it in an exercise to combat winter boredom.  The books came from my Great Grandmother; she was a school teacher from Ithaca, New York.  The open book is Papyrus Leaves – a collection of short stories.  The Pocket Watch at the bottom is an antique East India Company watch that I bought for my dad in Mumbai, India.  I spent a lot of time at the little shop I purchased it from and as a result befriended the proprietors.  When it was time for me to leave, the owners of the shop gave me a set of silver goblets; one of them is included in this photo.

Technical Details:

This is photo looks different because of the way it was shot and lit using the Light Painting technique.  I shot it with a Nikon D100 body and Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 lens.  I set it up on a tripod in the exact same position my head would be if I were seated in front of the book.  The room was totally dark except for the candle in the scene.  I left the open the shutter for 15 seconds and used a concave shaving mirror to reflect the candle light back onto the scene, painting the light where I wanted.  It’s a surprisingly easy thing to do.  If you’ve never tried making a light painting, I encourage you to do this.  It’s great fun and can yield some very cool results.  A flashlight with well-drained batteries makes a great light source.  Still subjects are the easiest to work with.  I’m sure there are plenty of willing subjects in your kitchen cupboard or living room bookshelf.

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