Light painting is a technique used in photography in which a long exposure is shot and a light source is moved in the frame to add an artistic touch. To move the light source, usually the photographer or the assistant has to be in the frame. So, a common question that arises is how to be invisible during light painting photography. Eric Paré and Kim Henry explain their trick in this exciting video:
While many may argue that using photo manipulating software like Photoshop can be an easy fix, Paré believes that in order to reduce the time sitting in front of a computer, it’s important to get things right in-camera. You can use these tips to make yourself invisible in light painting photographs:
- Use the model as a cover. Align yourself properly behind the model so that you’re not visible to the camera.
- Stand sideways. While standing behind the model, if you stand sideways, you will occupy less space and further reduce the probability of being picked up by the camera.
- Know where your camera is. Since light painting is done mostly during low lighting conditions, it becomes essential to keep in mind where the camera is. By knowing where it is, you can pay extra attention and avoid coming into the frame.
- Wear black. If you’re shooting during dark hours, wearing black can help you as it will make it difficult for the camera to pick you up. However, make sure that if you’re using any background light or the sun in the background, you do not block it. Otherwise, you will be visible.
- Avoid light spill. If the light source being carried for the purpose of “painting” spills some light on the person carrying it, the person will be visible in the photo. Such light spill can be avoided by using black tape at the back.
- Use the model’s clothing to hide your feet. Paré shares his experience that feet can be the most difficult part to hide. So, you can ask the model to wear a dress and use it to hide your legs by aligning yourself behind the model.
- Remember, what doesn’t move remains visible. This tip is especially useful when the artist has to move across the frame instead of hiding behind the model. If such movement is necessary, be sure to move quickly. Quick movements are not visible during light painting photography.
Now that you have an understanding of how to keep yourself invisible during light painting photography, get out there and unleash the artist inside you.
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