Thursday, 6 June 2013

Light painting & my lights/tools.

I have recently been introduced to long exposure light painting photography. By using long exposure times in complete darkness and lighting the scene with different light sources some spectacular results can be achieved. This picture taken by Jim lawn with my assistance is a good example of the art of light painting.
A light painted weeping willow, taken in complete darkness.
All rights reserved doobiejazz
The light sources or tools to give them their correct name, that I'll be using have been made, hacked from existing lights or bought cheap from Poundland or eBay.


So far I have spent less than £5 on lights and bits from Poundland but I will be making a return visit soon to stock up on more lights and supplies.

Glow sticks.
The packaging says it all.
 I got a tube of 20 slim glow sticks to try and as well as the sticks you get a bag full of connectors to join the glow sticks end to end. I got some good results with 4 of these joined end to end to form a circle and by spinning them in different ways got very different effects.

Glow stick ring rotated away from the camera.
Glow stick ring spun on it's vertical axis.

LED flower lights.
I bought a couple of sets of these. They are a string of 2 red, 2 yellow, 3 green and 3 blue 3mm LEDs with a silicone rubber flower shaped diffuser attached to each LED.

LED flower lights from Poundland.
One set of these lights were bunched together and taped to the battery pack to make a handheld tool that is good for detail work or for waving around to draw with light.
Handheld tool following architectural details.

Handheld tool again, this time waved randomly.
I'm a bit dissapointed with the colour I need to either add more red LEDs or make another one with more red in it.
The other set of lights were left as they came out of the box and are used to spin to get circular trails.
Flower lights spun by their wires.

My creations & hacks.

Blue galaxy tool.
My blue galaxy tool is a string of blue LEDs hooked up to a 555 based variable flasher circuit powered by a 9V pp3 battery. I quickly knocked the circuit up on some vero board with minimal components then entombed in insulation tape to protect the circuitry. I expect the string of lights to get damaged in use so I made the flasher module easily to separate from the string of lights.
My Blue galaxy tool.
 The string of LEDs are spun round quite fast and the resulting effect looks like a galaxy of blue stars. Spinning it at a constant speed gives more a ray type effect where as varying the speed gives a much more random pattern..
Blue galaxy tool in action.
I was hoping for more trails from the LEDs but the on time for the flasher was set just a bit too short. Next version will have adjustable on time built into the controller.

Cold cathode wand tool. 
Cold cathode wand tool.
Cold cathode wand tool Illuminated.
The insides.
I made this from an old PC cold cathode light kit I had knocking about. It runs off a single 9v pp3 battery and is all housed perfectly within an empty Glucagen hypo stop kit case.

Different effects from my cold cathode wand tool.

Hacks I'm working on.
I have a several old bulb torches that I am retrofitting with LEDs instead of bulbs so that way I can have a range of different colour LED torches. I am also hacking an old LED torch to be a selectable colour torch.

Torches I'm hacking
No doubt there will be further Creations and hacks needed as I build up my 'tool kit' which I shall document in future posts.

CHeck back soon for more hacks, creations and craziness.

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