There is still a lot of debate behind the use of photo editing software and what constitutes real photography, but sometimes adding in cool effects through manipulation can really make a photograph. Photographer Mikeal Beland has had a growing interest in surrealism and incorporates that into his images. While he believes he could have created the same effect in this photo in a darkroom, the final image is basically an out of camera shot, with just a minor addition from another shot and some exposure lightening:
Beland had his subject stay perfectly still for eight seconds and used an electronic shutter release to snap the long exposure as he ran around the subject with a fire poi ball to create the light painting. He used a Canon 5DS R and Sigma 50mm 1.4 A lens with settings of f/1.4 and ISO 200. The only composite work he did was to add on to the light spiral at the very top. In Lightroom, he adjusted the exposure to lighten it a little.
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