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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Winter Boredom....Painting with Light!

As we approach mid-winter up here in a pretty ho-hum weather pattern, I've been trying to keep myself occupied with the usual wildlife stuff.  It isn't working.  Thanks to some inspiration from my chaser pal, Chris Alington, I've been playing around with light painting again.  I think at one point or another, all photogs have messed with fireworks.  Chasers who are photogs love the challenge of a lightning shoot so the whole idea of long exposures with bright light fits well.

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My first go around with prodding me to do something a little different involved my daughter's girl scout troop who were working on a photography badge.  I was really excited when the troop leader asked to to teach the class!   During the book portion of the class, I challenged the girls for their assignment for the badge to to either 1) take a picture in an unordinary way or 2) take a picture which tells a story.  To give them some inspiration, we had a little fun at the end using glow sticks left over from Halloween.

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Most exposures were about 15s at ISO 100 f5.6.

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The girls were super excited and left ready to take lots of cool shots.  At the next meeting I was very impressed.  Everything from friends, to pets, to food,  to Christmas decor, to a bottle and everything in between,  The girls did a fantastic job and the creativity by some was really outstanding,  They all earned their  badges and deservedly so.  Hopefully this will pique the interest for a few of them to push the shutter button many times in their lives going forward.

Next topic thanks to Chris.  Steel wool, wire whisks, and a little parachute cord.  Sounds kind of boring.

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Not so.  This was my first attempt in which I learned a lot.  One of the biggest lessons was to alert your neighbors if doing this in town as it makes A LOT of sparks and light when the steel wool burns.  What you do is stuff the whisks with fine steel wool.  The whisk is attached to a piece of rope or cord.  When lit, you hand on to the cord and spin the whisk around like crazy.

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After some coaching and safety instruction, the two oldest kids left in the house wanted to try it so we headed out to one of the lakes near our home.  This is my step-daughter's first try at it.  Not too bad!

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This is my son.  He really go into in and produced a crazy amount of sparks by letting the whisks just barely hit the ice on the lake (which is over 15" thick by the way).


We had trouble getting the steel wool lit as we did not bring a 9 volt battery with.  Next time!



Here is a little video we shot from the night showing what it really looks like compared to the 30 second exposures on the still camera.

More to come on this subject in the future!!

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