It’s not something I can easily do in the summer as I have to wait until it’s really dark. But during the winter, when the nights draw in earlier, there’s more opportunity to set up my ‘studio’. Nothing complicated, just a black sheet, a tripod, torch, a remote control (or as I call it, a ‘blipper’) for my camera and a few props – in a dark room. Any room will do.
The photo on the left was taken with a long exposure and light from a torch. I set up my camera on its tripod and placed the wine glass on the table, then I stood behind the glass, away from the camera. I opened the camera’s shutter with the blipper when I was ready with my finger on the switch of the torch. I then moved the torch to try simulate the appearance of fluid. Once I judged I’d ‘filled’ the glass with light, I turned the torch out and then clicked the camera off. Explained like that, it looks quite an easy sequence of steps but it was amazing how many times I fumbled the torch or the blipper. Of course, if you leave the torch on too long without moving it, that area of the photo is burned out, so you need to keep the torch on the move – or off. It took quite a few attempts to take a photo with the light ‘inside’ the glass and not spilling out because my brain just wasn’t fast enough to tell each hand to operate separately!
If it’s something you’ve never done and you want to try, I’d recommend you make sure you’ve got the home to yourself or someone is sure to come into the room and turn on the light, spoiling your photo! Well, who would suspect there was anyone in a completely darkened room? Although the flashes of light and the various exclamations of annoyance might be a give away! But perhaps your hands successfully work independently of each other and you wouldn’t take so long to get your shot.
To achieve something more abstract, move the torch randomly – see photo on the right. It’s also a bit easier to do than try to ‘contain’ the light in the glass. I changed the colour in Photoshop, to make it more interesting. Admittedly, it’s not that much more interesting but I thought I’d experiment with colour and see.
If that looks too much like hard work, the lack of light can also be used to have fun with photography. The absence of light, better known as ‘shadow’ can be interesting! I took the two shadow photos, below, on a boat in the Red Sea. The shoes belonged to the captain. I’m sure you can come up with photos more imaginative than these!
The main character in ‘Daffodil and the Thin Place’ took a very important photo. To find out the circumstances and who she photographed, you need a copy of ‘Daffodil and the Thin Place’. If you haven’t read the story yet, you can get a copy of the ebook here at the Muse It Up Publishing website. There are links to all the major ebook sellers on the Muse It Up website. All profits from the sale of ‘Daffodil and the Thin Place’ go towards the renovation and upkeep of the ancient church of St. Nicholas, Laindon with Dunton, where the story takes place. #MuseItUp #DaffodilAndTheThinPlace