Power of Photography

Celebrated 20th century photographer, Ansel Adams once said, “Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.” Historically, photography has been the last to have been invented of all the fine arts. Across ages, painting, sculpture, music & poetry have been the torchbearers of sociocultural and intellectual progress of mankind. However, they have always been and still are largely perceived as elitist by the masses. It was after the 1800s that photography as an art form came to exist. Ever since the earliest surviving photograph taken by Nicephore Niepce in 1826 on a polished sheet of pewter with a thin coating of bitumen with an exposure time running in days, photography has witnessed massive leaps not just in technology but also the in the way it has impacted the society.

nicephore niepce first photograph

Powerful still images created by photojournalists, fine art & commercial photographers have swayed public opinion against governments, brought to fore human plight, raised awareness about environment & wildlife and even made the world more fashionable. Arrival of digital photography post 1990s revolutionized and democratized photography on an unprecedented scale. It will be prudent to opine that today photography has emerged as the most powerful visual and fine art form to have been invented.

In 1884 George Eastman developed the roll film; it liberated photographers from carrying bulky photographic plates and toxic chemicals. This was a turning point in that it popularized photography and brought it to the masses. A major upshot of this was the rise of photojournalism. Throughout the 20th century, several photojournalists brought us iconic pictures that shocked us, awed us and compelled us to think about the world we live in.

Kevin Carter’s award winning picture at a local feeding center in Sudan created quite a storm.

Kevin Carter

Eddie Adam’s picture of Saigon execution showed the atrocities of the Vietnam War.

Eddie Adams

Steve McCurry’s Afghan girl picture caught the collective imagination of the society with her powerful green eyes.

steve McCurry

Back home, Raghu Rai’s picture of a dead boy from Bhopal Gas tragedy, made the entire nation weep.

Raghu Rai

These and many more pictures were not just images but powerful statements that made a profound impact on the collective conscience of many countries and societies. They vindicated that a picture is worth more than a thousand words. Breath-taking images of the Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks taken by American fine art landscape photographer, Ansel Adams, not only showcased the natural beauty of Sierra Nevada to the common people but also raised public awareness on conservation of environment and its protection. Thus it is amply evident that photography as a medium has served as the most optimum and the most powerful tool for societal change.

Below: The Tetons Snake River by Ansel Adams

the-tetons-snake-river-ansel-adams

Journey of the still camera on the path of technological evolution has been nothing but phenomenal. Over the last century, there has been profusion of photographs clicked along with a continuous decline in the cost of taking a photograph. (Please note: the graph may not be statistically accurate, it is for illustration purposes only)

Photography graph

Camera formats multiplied (4×5 ins, 6 x 7 cm, 6 x 4.5 cm, 6 sq. cm, 35mm, 35mm half frame, sub-miniature etc.) and films got increasingly specialized (Slow film, Medium speed film, Infra-red film, Chromogenic film, X-Ray film etc.) for different types of lighting situations and output desired. Digital photography accelerated this process exponentially and became a game changer. Today, consumers as well as professionals enjoy a plethora of choices vis-à-vis camera sizes, models, features, technical specifications, opticals, accessories and lighting equipment. Continuous sophistication of cameras on smartphones has brought about an explosion in the sheer number of pictures clicked. This extensive popularization of photography is strongly evident with the following graphic.

article-2381188-1B100DFB000005DC-78_634x446 aa

The number of photos uploaded every 60 seconds on Flickr is ten times the number of videos uploaded on YouTube. It is astounding to know that around 300 million new photos are added to Facebook everyday amounting to 7 petabytes of photo content monthly.

Photography derives its power from the way our psychology works. The physical world around us is in a state of constant motion. The traffic, birds in the sky, people on the road, trees swaying in the wind, needles on our watch and such. To our minds, motion is a natural and continuously occurring phenomenon. We would sit up and take notice if for some reason all this motion comes to a standstill. Photography brings about this stillness to our world. It freezes a particular moment in time when even time is in a state of motion. The frozen moment isn’t just a point on a timescale but represents a story or event that occurred then. This famous photograph, named, “Dalí Atomicus” by Philippe Halsman perfectly captures the power of a frozen moment.

Dalí Atomicus Philippe Halsman, 1948

A video footage of this would not have conveyed the same sentiment. It cannot be denied that video is a strong visual art form and has the ability to convey messages and engage with viewers effectively. However it can be rationally argued that a still medium like photography stokes the viewer’s imagination about the context and plot concerning the picture. Video vis-à-vis photography is easier to assimilate since it enjoys the privilege of combining motion and sound to appeal to our senses and feed us with more information. One of the biggest reasons for sheer dominance of photography as a visual art form is its ability to be spread through print media making it easier to access for the masses. Historically this has been the biggest factor instrumental in the popularity of photography.

In conclusion it is fair to say that photography has been and still is the most powerful and the most popular visual art forms invented by humans.

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your views.

Rohan

You can know more about me on:

http://www.rohanfotography.me

Categories: General Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

www.facebook.com/Picture.perfect.rohanpotdar

www.facebook.com/Picture.perfect.rohanpotdar

“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs”- Ansel Adams.
My love is to create nothing but only the best photographs be it Candids, Landscapes or Travel. Camera & equipment- costly. Imagination- priceless.

I invite you to view my Facebook page:

 www.facebook.com/Picture.perfect.rohanpotdar

Your comments and feedback solicited.

Thanks

Rohan

 

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Bullet Diaries: A ride to Dajipur, the bison country

Riders thrive by heading off to uncharted destinations. Riding to new destinations is more exciting than going on a blind date. It is a dopamine-filled activity that promises thrills of unfamiliar roads leading to unknown places. It had been a while since I last went on such a ride and I was looking for a place that not only involved hard riding but also an exhilaration of wildlife. After some deliberations over a couple of beer meetings, Stanley and I decided to make a heading to Dajipur Bison Sanctuary near Kolhapur. Stanley had been my fellow rider through many rides over the last few years and thus was a natural choice for this trip. One thumb rule we follow while picking a destination is that the riding distance should not be less than 200 kms from home and not more than 500 kms for a 3 day trip. This makes for not just good riding but also offers reasonable time to relax and explore what the destination has to offer. Dajipur fitted this criterion with one-way riding distance of approximately 480 kms from Mumbai. Also a bison park as a destination is not a run-of-the-mill locale that everyone rides to. As with any ride, we planned the itinerary in detail to be clear about the routes to take while riding in and riding out of the destination. Generally, we prefer to choose a different route while riding back since it makes for a new trip in itself.

Itinerary Dajipur

Our itinerary for the trip looked like a circle on Google maps. It was NH4-SH 116-NH17 route.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1: Mumbai-Pune-Kolhapur-Dajipur 

We kicked off a couple of days before Christmas on our respective Royal Enfield Thunderbirds. The cold winter morning numbed us as we hit NH4 (Mumbai-Pune highway) at 6:30 am on our bikes. Nevertheless, it only served to warm up our riding spirit. The experience of being on a highway is liberating and humbling at the same time. One may be well geared and road-worthy but there are many forces on the road that can work against you, like the traffic, the weather, the terrain, and not to forget the invasive truck drivers coming from the opposite direction. Fortunately, most of the national highways in Maharashtra except NH 17 have opposing lanes separated by dividers.

Khandala served as our breakfast break. Here we ran into two bullet riders. Stanley instantly befriended one of them who revealed to us that they were on a southern odyssey covering Bangalore, Ooty, Pondy, and back. We couldn’t help but feel that our trip was like going to a neighbourhood grocery shop as compared to them. We ascended our bullets and within a couple of hours were dragging a smoke at Pune. From here we continued on NH4 towards the city known for its spicy food and ubiquitous ‘Patil’ surname- Kolhapur. Many times on the highway, we were overtaken by local bikers who had no helmets or eye glasses on them. I felt as if Stanley and I were dressed in suit & tie at a nude party considering our repertoire of protective gear. It was a long ride to Kolhapur with an hour spent on lunch and bio breaks. By 4:30 in the evening we were sipping tea at a street-side joint on Kolhapur’s arterial Station road. Odometer reading: 399.5 kms. After a brief chat with the tea vendor, we realised that we still had 70 odd kms of ride ahead of us with the winter sun sinking fast in the horizon.

Radhanagari is the last major town before Dajipur and is the most popular place to ask for directions while going to Dajipur. We quickly refilled our fuel tanks and commenced on the last leg of our ride to Dajipur. I knew in my heart that this would be the most thrilling part of the day. Negotiating the unruly Kolhapur traffic and ‘work-in-progress’ downtown roads, we finally hit state highway-SH 116. Like any other state highway, this is a two-lane road with unpredictable bad patches and unannounced animal movement. Since this was the first time we were riding on this road, not knowing what lay ahead, it was crucial for us to maintain our aggressive pace to reach the destination at a friendly hour.  Asking for directions on country roads after sunset is quite a task.

Throughout the ride, the sight of Radhanagari milestones kept us at ease. SH 116 is the chief road that connects Kolhapur to NH 17, which is the Mumbai-Goa highway and thus has a decent amount of traffic. As it turned dark our headlights came to life and it became more difficult to see and avoid the potholes. However our progress was better than we expected and by 7:30 pm we were just 5 kms away from Dajipur. This called for a break and we pulled over on a small bridge over a village pond by the road. The moon glistened across the dark landscape and the sight was absolutely spectacular. Smoking it up in the feeble glow of our bullet tail lights was like a celebration of sorts. Finally five minutes before 8:00 p.m., we reached our hotel. Odometer reading: 484 kms.

It was actually an inconspicuous holiday home by the roadside with a modest verandah and a compact lobby. The hotel was located within a cluster comprising a few roofed village houses, a grocery shop, and a bus stop that stretched less than half a kilometre end-to-end. The attendant at the hotel told us that they didn’t serve dinner and we would have to make it to a dhaba a kilometre away.

So, we set out on foot in the pitch black night towards the dhaba on the dark highway with just having learnt from someone that a buffalo was killed by a tiger atop a hill adjacent to the highway a few days back. The dhaba was a quintessential countryside truckers’ paradise. However, the spicy chicken dish that we ordered, made in authentic Kolhapuri masala, made our palates fall in love with it. We were sure to come here again. After more than twelve hours of riding on the clock and digesting our rustic dinner we finally called it a day at 10 p.m. by crashing into our stodgy prince-sized bed.

Day 2: Dajipur

Next day, we rose early to a Sunday morning sun. The freshness of the countryside air was rejuvenating to our city lungs. The attendant at the hotel treated us to a scrumptious breakfast and multiple cups of hot tea. Soaking in the winter sun and chatting away to glory, we didn’t realize when the sun passed midway through the sky. We scrambled to freshen up and set off on our Bullets to explore the Dajipur bison reserve.

There is a manned entry check point very close to the hotel off the highway. Here we paid the entry fee and were about to leave when the policeman on duty ridiculed us for going to the sanctuary in the afternoon sun and on our boisterous Bullets. We still pushed on. The main gate to the reserve is just a few single digit kilometres away from this checkpoint. However, the road that leads to it is no cakewalk. It is a rock-strewn earth track with a steep gradient– a complete off-roading experience. Stanley and I had to rev up our 350cc engines and push the torque real hard at times while maintaining a fine balance between the clutch and the accelerator.

earth road

Earthy road leading to the reserve main gate

An old man stood guard at the main entry gate of the bison reserve. He appeared flummoxed on seeing us as if we had lost our way to the reserve. Two bikers on roaring Bullets must have been a least expected sight for him. After speaking to him we realised that the main watch tower was atop a hillock nineteen kilometres inside through a serpentine and steep earthy road just like the one we had taken to reach this point. He told us that it would be foolish to ride all the way to the tower at that time of the day with noisy bikes which would scare away any animals in the vicinity. Also, the return being the same distance back, it would be very difficult to make it to the main gate before 6 pm– the closing time. Guests to the reserve generally hire a local taxi and leave very early in the morning to return by two or three in the afternoon whereas we were trying to make an entry into the park at that time. With anticipated disappointment, we turned back. Fortunately, the road back offered not only a picturesque view of the Dajipur Talao- a reservoir created by the Radhanagari dam but also some great photo opportunities at a local monastery and surrounding fields. Finally, roving around Dajipur, we reached the hotel by sunset. Soon it was time for dinner and I was excited like a small kid to walk a kilometre on the dark highway back to the dhabba from last evening. It would be an understatement if I said the culinary experience outmatched the previous days’. We were more lavish in our ordering as this was to be our last opportunity here unless fate was kind enough to get us back to this part of the world- A highly unlikely scenario for foreseeable future. We called it a day after packing our bags for the next day’s ride back to Mumbai.

Chanting

A monk engrossed in his prayers at the local monastery

 

labourers at dajipur

 

 

In the sugarcane field

In the fields

Day 3: Dajipur-Phonda-Nandgoan (NH17) – Mumbai

It was 5:30 in the morning and I was standing outside the hotel enjoying the quietude of the village and the highway. Dawn was still almost an hour away and the star-studded sky looked simply marvellous. I was anticipating a long day of riding. We left at 6:15 and started our ride on SH 116 through the ghats leading to Phonda- a major town after Dajipur. We passed acres of fields, sleepy villages, and tortuous photogenic roads enveloped in crisp early morning fog. We stuck to SH 116 post Phonda and rode till we intercepted the Mumbai-Goa highway (NH17) at Nandgaon at 8 am

 

Radhanagari reservoir

Dajipur Talao- A reservoir formed by Radhanagari dam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were 380 kilometres from Panvel with not less than 8 hours of hard riding in front of us. After a quick breakfast at a highway restaurant, we set about on our Thunderbirds. Riding on the Mumbai-Goa highway had always been exciting to me given the two lanes without the divider, sudden curves, intermittent ghats and the old-school overtaking by barging into the opposite lane (no sarcasm). Following the ‘man-in-the-mirror’ principle we rode through the highway as a tag team. The power and torque provided to me by my Royal Enfield Thunderbird made me fall in love with it, again.

Lunch and tank re-fill was at Chiplun just past noon. Though it was December, the sun was unrelenting on the highway and we thought it would be wise to take breaks after every couple of hours of riding. It was only by 6 in the evening that we reached Stanley’s house at Panvel. After a brief chat about our ride and a departing high-five to my chum, I set out on the dreariest route of my thrilling 3 day ride. I was headed back to my home in the suburbs of Mumbai wading through the city traffic and numerous signals. After having ridden fast and smooth on the highway, riding in the city feels like a slap on your face. A couple of hours after Panvel, I finally rolled into my parking lot. I had completed 14 eventful hours on the road. My odometer clocked 993.5 kilometres and the dust and the grime of all that mileage was imprinted not only on my Bullet but also on my face.

Categories: Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New born photo essay

New born photo essay

Recently I created a series of photo-collage of my new born as a part of a photo essay to give a glimpse into her little life. I’ve posted one of these here.
If interested in checking out more than please visit my link below.
http://www.facebook.com/Picture.perfect.rohanpotdar

Please feel free to critique or appreciate or provide feedback on my work.

Thanks

Rohan

Categories: Portraits | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

When the moon split

When the moon split

On a perfectly normal evening, I came across the moon rising over a tower through my balcony. I thought of doing something funny. I chose my frame, exposed the shot for 8 seconds and tried something unusal. During the exposure time, very carefully zoomed out. And the result is this photograph. I was stunned by its surreal effect.

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What I like about Silhouettes

Sometimes the outlines are more important than the details. Our eyes are always busy discerning the intricacies of the subject in a photograph. Why bother? Why not see the beauty of the subject with respect to its surroundings without caring for what the subject looks like. Personally I enjoy the visual feel of seeing silhouettes of my subjects in the photographs I click. The French call it ‘Contre-jour’ while the Germans say ‘Gegenlicht’.

I want to share some select silhouettes of nature & people I’ve photographed in last few years.

Sunset behind the treeIn a thousand directions

I feel this unassuming tree takes on a whole new dimension because its been photographed as a silhouette. To me it depicts the complexity of human life and the world around us and that like the tree we are attached to the world in a thousand ways.

TwigAlone

I fee this twig conveys its loneliness before the setting sun. The unusual shape of the twig gets accentuated in an intriguing way.

P1010870Mirth

This photo conveys a sense of merriment of the subjects without bothering about who they are. Silhouettes of people look amazing to me for the simple reason that it draws me to their actions and my mind doesn’t get distracted by their identity, their skin colour or their looks.

Bebo SilhoutteThe lady on the door

Who knows what this lady wants. She stands at the door looking for something that it opens up to. Is she asking for something or is she saying something?

The best thing of Silhouette photograhy- It captures the physicality, the action, the mood and the relationship between the different actors in a photograph without bothering about the details of the subject. It mystifies, glorifies, sensationalizes and even solidifies people, nature, wildlife and landscapes.

Below are some of the links I found real interesting on the net:

http://www.smashingapps.com/2010/05/02/45-absolutely-stunning-examples-of-silhouette-photography.html

http://lightbox.time.com/2012/12/21/2012-the-year-in-silhouettes/#38

Drop in a word on what you’ve been up to.

Happy clicking!

Rohan

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Damn, these effects are crazy!

Normally I love composing my photos whilst shooting in the dark with my tripod, my flashlights and my camera on long exposure. However there have been some stupid things I have done lately with the camera that I have taken liking for. I looked up the net on what this might be called. Popularly it’s known as Camera painting. I just call it mad effects.

Here are some photos I would like to share:

Art1 AdHoc Strings. This mess is nothing but a result of shaking my camera randomly while it was capturing the night lights of lake a town. Making this photo was just like taking a paint brush and stroking it across the canvas.

Art2AdHoc Strings II to the right. Here I have moved my camera in both horizontal & vertical fashion to achieve this effect. Light sources include immediate street lamps, car lights and lights of roads far away.

Chaotic lights

Building lights. I have tried to stretch the lights in this photo with a sweep of my hand. Here the building is the only source of light.

Confused strands

Confused Strands. White street light, tail lights of a car and headlights of an approaching truck all jumbled in to a mass of strands of light.

Crazy lights

Crazy Cocktail. I love the madness here. This is a cocktail of street lamp, colourful lights of a brightly lit house and tail lights of a car. I didn’t shake my camera. Just kept walking with it in my hand and let the natural shake of my hand & the movement of my body do the rest.

There is a lot one can do with this technique. Here’s what I think works:

  • Find a place with multiple sources of lights. Lights with different colours would really spice up your photos.
  • Sources both near and far can create a great interplay of lights
  • Sweep your camera just like you would sweep a brush.
  • Walk towards or away or both from lights
  • Cars in motion offer wonderful opportunity for spreading lights across your frame
  • Frankly, no rules here. If you have found a newer way with pleasing results, kindly share.

Naysayers would call it Abstract, I would call it photography as usual.

Happy clicking,

Rohan

Categories: Light Painting | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fun with Long Exposures: Single Exposure, Multiple Composition

Shooting in dark excites me to  no end. Possibilities of composing a photo are simply limitless when the shutter remains open for as long as you want. That is what Long Exposure photography is all about. In my previous posts, I touched upon ‘Light Painting’ as a technique along with some of my pictures on the topic. In this post I would like to write on something I call ‘Single Exposure, Multiple Composition’. I am not trying to impress you with a jargon; I just couldn’t think of how to  describe it better. As a matter of fact it shows my crudeness. I shall explain what it means.ApparitionI call this photo ‘Apparition’. It is not done in Photoshop by combining many images into one (Typically employed in Multiple Exposure photos). Instead I have shot this photo with a single long exposure using the  bulb mode. I asked my wife to  change her position in the frame multiple times (as you can see 4 times) during the time the shutter was open. I captured each of her positions by illuminating her with a flashlight. The flashlight was switched off during her transition from one position to the next to avoid capturing her motion.Being in bulb mode, I could control the time the shutter was open for me to complete this photograph.Sounds interesting? The ghostly images of my wife make up for a splendid photo.

Shutter: 27s, f/5, ISO 200

Me Vs Me

This photograph to the right is based on the same principle of Single Exposure, Multiple Composition. I call it ‘Me Vs Me’. Here I switched my positions during the exposure time. The reason I call it Multiple Composition is because although I maintain my frame, I change the position of my subject relative to the frame. This technique renders some really creative photographs.

15s, f/20, ISO 1600

3mich Photo called ‘3mich’. This is one of the earliest photos I shot when I started experimenting with long exposures. I personally feel the composition could have been better.

My soul; always with youThe classic way of composing a multiple exposure photograph is to shoot 2 different photos with different compositions each and fuse them. For many of you the photo on the right (‘My soul; always with you’) may seem to be the case in point. No, it’s not. Here I have literally captured 2 different compositions during one single exposure. First I captured my wife standing in the corridor of my house. Then I closed the door of my dark bedroom and flashed light on myself to capture my own image. The result- a spooky photo of myself juxtaposed with that of my wife.

10s, f/8, ISO 200

There are infinite ways in which you can apply your creativity to make single exposure, multiple composition photographs. I would like to see some photos that you may have created. Please share with me.  I would love to discuss more ideas with people who share the same passion. Also, please feel free to critique my work or suggest improvements.

I can be reached at potdar.rohan@gmail.com

I intend to keep sharing with you some work I do in this area and more.

Happy clicking

Rohan

English: Multi Exposer

English: Multi Exposer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Categories: Light Painting | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Tried someting new with Light Painting

Recently I got an opportunity to get away from the city to a really secluded tree house. Me and my wife were celebrating our wedding anniversary. Even at the risk of inviting her chagrin, I stole some time to try something with light painting. The result- Photograph that I like to call ‘Love Painting’. Well this photo allowed me to convince my wifey that I was doing this as a tribute to her.

The sharp darkness of the surrounding landscape provided the best setting for this photo. Of course it had its own challenges. Marking the boundary/frame for my photo was the difficult task that I had to start with. However I switched on some lights to make my measurements for my frame. Following are the equipments I used:

  • My Cannon 550D
  • Benro Tripod
  • Cannon RC-6 Remote Control
  • Flashlight
  • Some imagination

As explained in the earlier post, light painting requires one to activate manual focus on the lens. For this photo, I have used Bulb Mode to allow me to control the shutter speed that I want to complete my photograph. Here the remote comes very handy. It eliminates the need to press the click button thus getting rid of any shake to the camera. Once the shutter was open, I drew my painting and stood in a position so as to appear adjacent to the painting. My wife threw light on me for 4-5 seconds. She then switched the flashlight off and we exchanged places. She stood left relative to my position. I then illuminated her for 4-5 seconds before I closed the shutter with the remote. So even though it appears that we are facing each other and having a good laugh, we were’nt standing there together. This technique is called Multiple Exposure.

For those who are technically inclined- Shutter- 39s, f/5 & ISO 200. Well Multiple Exposure is the next topic of interest for me and I will share some learnings with you.

Happy Clicking!

Rohan

Categories: Light Painting | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fun with Long Exposures: Light Painting

We all love clicking photographs, standing behind the camera peering through the viewfinder and firing the shot away. Dont we love it when we capture the subject the way we see it or the way we want to show it. This integrity between the actual photograph and the virtual picture in our minds is what we strive to achieve every time we click the button. This definitely is the objective of photography. What if I don’t worry about capturing the subject or worry about adjusting to the light falling on my subject. What if I don’t need a subject.

Absence of light in a picture presents infinite possibilities for photographers. I have come to admire the stunning and surreal effects of  photographing with long exposures in practically no-light or very low light conditions with nothing but a flashlight. This is Light Painting. This concept has been around for more than 100 years almost since the inception of photography. As matter of fact in its initial days the objective of light painting was not about art but study of motion. History of Light Painting makes for a very interesting read.

Credit- Nhuisman's photostream

My tryst with light painting began with the above photograph by Nhuisman. This photo set my mind off on a thousand different ideas. The appeal of this photography lies in simplicity of equipment required, absence of light and the need for creativity. I decided to make a humble beginning in my own bedroom. What resulted was a set of some photographs. Now, I wont judge them or rate them. Being the photographer I don’t have the liberty to do so. But you certainly can. In this post, I will showcase some basic light painting photos succeeded by more complex ones in later posts.

 For lack of caption I call this photo LP1. I started by drawing some real simple shapes in the confines of my bedroom in total darkness. It’s like you have a blank canvas, but of course limited by the frame of your picture. In fact setting up the boundaries of your frame is the most important pre-photo work that one needs to do before everything else. Clicking in dark is akin to walking in dark. Hence set up your frame with lights on and with some reference boundary or a space between two objects so that you know the size of your canvas. In this case I referred my frame against the wall of my bedroom.

Now for some technicalities. I  set my lens on ‘manual focus’. This has to be done or you will wait forever for your camera to focus. I set my camera on Shutter Priority and chose 20 seconds as my shutter time. Please note it wont matter if  it were 30 seconds or 10 seconds. I thought 20 seconds would give me sufficient time to draw my  light. Since it is complete dark, varying the shutter speed wont matter. What will matter is the time you want to draw.  In this photograph, I have tried to draw a circle which clearly is not perfect. I love the aura of flashlight that lingers behind the circle though. ISO has been maintained at 200 to keep out noise.

The next photograph (LP2) is a notch up with regards to drawing complexity. Here I have tried to paint a DNA strand with the flashlight. Having a sense of placement of  different lines with respect to each other becomes supremely important in drawings  especially if the lines are curved. Your light source needs to be switched off after completing the first continuous curved line before you switch it on again for the next curved line. If this is not done, you will have unnecessary lines of light interfering with your main drawing. In this photo, I  first moved my flashlight to draw the upper curves of the DNA and switched it off. Then switched it on again and drew the lower curves before reaching the side from where I started. The intersections between the upper and lower curves make for a beautiful DNA strand. As a matter of fact I completed this photo within 15 seconds exposure bettering my previous time record of 20 seconds.

 

 

 

 I call this photo ‘Romance in the light’. I have added some additional light points here other than my painting. The comet-like light that you see was obtained by very quickly moving the light across the wall. This effect is an antithesis of light painting. Light painting is done with light source facing the camera whereas certain subjects either in foreground or background can be illuminated by throwing light on them for very short durations usually in few seconds. In this photograph I have thrown light on the wall (background)  and the bed mattress (foreground) to  supplement the light painting. There is virtually no dearth of permutations & combinations of light paintings and cleverly placed subjects to achieve highly pleasing and creative photographs. Point in case is the Swedish Light painting photograph on the top.

 

 

This genre of photography is very exciting and full of limitless possibilities. What I have touched upon in this post is  very rudimentary. Nevertheless I intend to present more creative and intriguing photos in my upcoming posts as I experiment with light . If you want to suggest, critique or appreciate my work, kindly do so.

Happy clicking!

Rohan

Categories: Light Painting | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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