Light Painting

Dissecting Photons

Light Painting Dennis Calvert

Light Painting Dennis Calvert

I really dig fog. A lot. A whole hell of a lot actually. 🙂 I even wrote about using it in long exposure photography a few months ago.

For this one, the idea was simple and the execution was fast. It’s only a 14 second exposure. Here’s how it went down.

First off, I set up a speedlite (@ 1/4 power) with a wireless trigger about 25ft in front of the camera. I zoomed the flash out to 24mm to get a nice wide dispersion of light through the fog, and set it to trigger on the first curtain.

Next, I triggered the camera (I use the rc-1 remote) with a 2 second delay and timed my jump with the flash. It was really a pretty pathetic jump, but the back lighting threw my shadow out in front of me and made it look like I really got some air.

Finally, I held a hula hoop with el wire taped to it in front of the camera and moved it away from the lens three or four feet.

That was it. The photo is a jpg straight out of the camera.

Camera geek info:
Canon 5d mk3 & 24-70L
14.0 seconds

Here’s the light I used. Disregard the paint roller and stick the hoop is stuck to. I just used the hoop with the blue el wire for the photo. This was something I taped together a couple of years ago. I could have taken the time to make sure the el wire was all pretty and perfectly lined up around the rim of the hoop (which would have made a complete circle of blue around me), but I decided to leave it crooked and uneven. Sometimes you get a little more spice when things aren’t perfect.
light painting tool

  • Awesome stuff! Thanks for the dissection, might give it a crack.

  • Nice. Thanks for sharing. I need to get outside at night and shoot sometime.

  • Your love for taking photos of me is encouraging. Thanks for spreading the good word.

    Fog is friend, not foe.

  • Alex M Sanchez

    So a friend and I are planning on trying out this technique this weekend. I wanted to know where I could buy some of that electroluminescent wire? Do you have to order it online or can you get it somewhere?

    • Dennis

      I order all of mine on