Author: . G
7:7 Exellent photo. Great composition and powerfull colors and light.
Struggling to avoid the cliche 'wow' here! This is one image where digital capture infinitely benefits the end product. It looks like it was shot on 8x10 Velvia. Stunning.
Thanks Blago. Perceptive observations. Your suggestions would certainly improve. :)
Thanks Leigh. Not sure about 8x10 velvia but the file was very clean aswell as sharp, even though it was a 40 sec exposure. Wouldn't print up as well as an 8x10 sheet though ;)
Thanks D. That description will do just fine :)
G, I've finally figured out what I like about your work. Your photographs look like they've been fixed onto metal, or have been created with light sensitive metal. I don't know how else to describe it.
It's nearly perfect, G.! Maybe, I'd consider it perfect if the second tulip from the left was on the catenary where the other four tulips are and if there was only the outer flowerpot (without the other (dark) pot inside it). Light and colours are terrific. Regards. Blago
Thanks for your enthusiasm Chris :)
Oh--just read the name of the folder: "Lightpaint". I thought you were using a candlelit room or something (which would probably yeild nice results as well.) I still think it's a gorgeous image! cc
40 Seconds? Wow! (cliche). That's totally rad! I'm going to have to mess around with some low-lit flowers as well. Beautiful! 40 Seconds...at F8?!? Blows my mind. cc
I thougt you left phot.net
Not quite :)
Hey Ger, what did you use for the lightsource? Flashlight? Multiple soft light sources? Very niice image... Dave
Hello Dave! I just used a small tungsten torch with a homemade black cardboard 'snoot'. Painting was like decorating a cake with an icing pipe.
Thanks. Think I am gonna play with this idea a bit... Except with guns, chains, arrows, mannequins... you know, the norm.
I wish I had given those points more thought at the time as I can see what improvements they would have made. Really useful tips Mary - thanks!
Hi G. Love the lighting... Inspiring... The play of the light on the wall really gives life to this shot... One or two suggestions... I would have put some fabric around the vases themselves... Reason is that they are such different shapes and colors that they don't really seem to go together.. Also would have cut the two lowest leaves on the tulips so they didn't "connect" with the purple flowers.. This really makes me want to experiment!!!
Very nice shot...the light is great I must try this sometime...
great shoot, thanks for your time and shared G!
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Let me first express my respect for this beautiful image and the technique used to capture it. At first sight the amazingly fresh splash of vibrant colors was a stimulation for my mind. After learning that is was created through skillful use of a very interesting technique studying it became more of a personal affection, a desire to experiment. I know little about lightpainting but I assume great care was taken to produce an image such as this, I commend her efforts and can see that she has a special kind of love for her art. The POW questions are difficult to answer, considering my knowledge of studio lighting and as mentioned, lightpainting. But as far as the technique being a distraction on this particular photo, well, I would be very interested in perusing the portfolio of the person who votes non-benefit! Thank you G., for sharing your talents.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Congratulations, Geraldine! I respect a lot your efforts to find a unique way to express your photographic vision. Regards. Blago
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . I think the unique lighting is what sets this image apart. As already mentioned, it seems like you are in a candlelit room and that gives a nice, peaceful feeling when viewing this. The colors are vivid and bold, yet the lighting gives a softness to the composition. I like it very much.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . I've tried the lightpainting technique, and commend G. on this result - it isn't easy by any means. Her use of the directed ray to highlight the areas she's chosen definitely adds to the overall image. "Traditional" lighting would not have yielded as stunning a result with this composition and subject, imho.
Photo of the week??? The good: This is a "nice" photo, with good lighting. You've done a nice flower arangement, congratulations.
The bad: This is really nothing I haven't seen done several times before and
arangements) I have seen done much more interestingly.
Don't get me wrong, You have made a nice photo and that's something to be proud about, and I'm not trying to play that down, I just think I've seen a hundred other photos this week that are more deserving as photo of the week. Just my opinion.
Sincerely, Kipling Phillips
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . I have to say I was surprised to find this little pic chosen for POW, as I generally upload to Pnet for feedback on photos I am unsure about, rather than using the space as a portfolio. There were several attempts of this set-up and the one I actually preferred [and displayed as part of my website portfolio] is here:
The background on this other version is more interesting and the flowers are more evenly lit. But, in the PN version I chose not to light the background so much, so that the 'lanterns' appeared to glow in the dark. You will also notice the PN version has been cropped, and I'm not too sure that works. Both versions have problems with composition, which I am grateful to Mary and Blago for pointing out.
To be frank, I do understand those that are not moved by flower photos, as there seems to be an absolute deluge of them about the internet and on commercial products. But I do actually adore flowers, and I watch them in bud, tentatively opening, then in full bloom before they recede and start withering away. People who visit my house often ask if it's time I threw those wretched flowers out as I often leave them there withered up, still watching them change shape, and sometimes painting them with light again in their dying state [as here].
On a final note, I would like to say thank you to the master of light painting Jörg Gründler, who supported me immensely when I set out learning the technique. It is highly unlikely my work will ever match the level of skill and artistry as Jörg's, but this POW does illustrate what PN is all about; learning and sharing from each other. Thank you for the honour elves!
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . I'll need to think it over a little bit more, but I feel files 4/7, 5/7 and 6/7 on your website are actually, indeed, better images than this POW and that the 2nd (prefered) version of this POW posted in your comment. This being said, Géraldine, I do like this POW very much, especially in terms of lighting. What I like about its lighting is precisely that the flowers are NOT lit evenly. This is a first reason for me to prefer the POW to the picture attached; the 2nd reason being, that the attachment presents a background that appears a bit too busy to me. The only thing I might prefer in your attachment is the darker ground. I would like the ground to disappear or to almost disappear; and I would like this line between the ground and the background to disappear as well... Still, great work, and a very interesting choice for POW. Regards.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Darn! I was hoping for another "high key" image to rail against. Maybe next week. Congratulations G, this is one of my favorite of your pictures. I like how the background and the lighting work to make the appearance of metal, especially of etched copper. It's really amazing. I have to agree with the negative sentiment regarding flowers, but I also feel this treatment has a signature technique, so in many respects it is not your average flower macro.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . I forgot to mention, that I am also tempted to try a darker version of this POW; some masking and dodging MAY (probably) add mood, but I won't know for sure till I try...
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Nice work G. I like the use of lighting here except the for the streaks in the background. I like a little light in the background to make a glow around the flowers but find the streaks distract me from the subject you have lit so well. I have been experiementing in this technique a little but have not found the control you have in lighting what I want without having light leak into areas want kept dark. I have been using only a small pen light flashlight and would love to know where one can get the tungsten torch you mentioned.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . HI G, Nice piece they chose of yours. I like the one you originally submitted, the one they chose. I think you probably did too, as it's the one you posted first. The second one has way too much background distractions and the lilys don't 'pop', (jump out at you). The corrections I noticed that needed to be made had been brought up by others before the image was chosen. But to show people what a difference the suggestions would make I tried my best to show it here. My photoshop ability is still in the beginner stages, so forgive the imperfections in blending, etc.. I showed how much nicer the plant would have looked actually in the planter too. I took out the two distracting leaves and burned in some areas that were too bright, especially in the front middle purple one. The base of the plant jumped out to much also. The background was toned down so as not fight with the center of interests. Blessings, MS
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Let try again on the upload image.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Says no larger than '511 pixels wide' would show. Mine was less, but 550 high, maybe that's the problem. Try it again with all measurements less than 500 pixels. Also, sometimes I see my attatchment as a link, but sometimes the screen shows none. Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I'll try to post it in HTML format too. .
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . The translucent nature of flower petals make them well suited to this technique, and G's made the most of it. Dodging and burning somehow seem in appropriate here. Most of the photographers I know who enjoy light painting want to get a clean capture requiring only minimal contrast adjustments, but they were all shooting film, so maybe things change. The benefit, of course, is that you can see how it turned out right away instead of waiting for your roll to be processed - probably long after the set up has been put away. There are several ways to change the background during capture. You can change the direction of the light, move the background further away or get closer to your subject with a smaller flashlight (torch?). Check out G's website, especially the portraits. I was sorry to see 'Waiting' deleted from the photo.net gallery. Quite a few of us had it in our 'favorites' pages. . . . and thanks, Jorge.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . I agree with Carl that it is inappropriate to dodge, burn or clone any light painting result, as it takes away the magical experience of special effects made in camera, and therefore becomes too manufactured. However, Michael Seewald's rendition does attend to the problem areas, and I can see how much better improved the photo could have been. I am sure Michael is not suggesting to use these techniques as a fix, but rather to demonstrate how the picture might have looked if I had attended to these details in the first instance.
Regarding the line which Marc would prefer absent, and the distance Carl refers to, I have taken many captures with long spreads of roll paper to eradicate lines and surfaces, or moved the bgrd for more distance and less dof. However, here my intention was not to make a still life studio capture, but to shoot a little corner of my house as it was. Although I refer to the picture as a set-up, it was not actually 'set up' as you would place a still life in a studio. The flowers and plant had already been placed on the sideboard of my home [as you can tell they are drooping]. In light of this, it seems to defy the point to arrange the flower heads, leaves and so forth, as I was recording a 'naturally found' scene in the home, only in the dark and with a degree of control over the lighting, lens choice, tripod height etc. I did not place the flowers, or change anything. I simply saw and decided to get my camera and torch out.
Carl brings to our attention the advantages of light painting using digital. I have to say that digital makes the learning curve so much quicker and less expensive!! I wasted so many 4x5 sheets before trying it with digital, and by the time I had the processed film back, I had only scrappy bits of paper with ap/speed notes written down. I could not remember distances, size beam, speed of brush strokes etc.
Apologies to those that miss 'Waiting'. I had some of the best critiques I ever received in that page. I guess I must have taken my pics down for a reason... I just can't remember what it was. Sorry about that Carl.
To answer Tom, there is no particular torch [flashlight]. I use various sized ordinary household torches. Real cheap ones actually! The main thing is that I control the width of the beam by using a homemade cardboard snoot.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Agree, the flowers must pop. My uploaded version did not have the punch my monitor showed it with, and I did not burn the flowers or pot hardly at all. My rendition killed the image. Hopefully, the following version looks more like the original. I do believe less is more with this technique, and most don't seem to have the skill G has acquired.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Brilliantly done and good for you to have it chosen but the subject does nothing for me. A personal opinion.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Beautiful colour picture G. I'm reminded of something Isidra said last week. It went something like the pinnacle of technique is achieved when it is undeniably present yet unobtrusive. I think that is so here. You know technique must lurk someplace but you can't quite say where because the picture's success is based upon what glows at you and what hides from you in equal measure. Like Tinkerbell and Peter Pan's shadow just got married.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Er, excuse me. Can the naughty pixie in photonetland who puts the letter a into peoples' names where they're not wanted please stop and put the right one back again! There's an a to be taken off of my name and there's an a to be swapped back to an o in Isidro's. And whoever it is had better own up quick or there'll be no visit from Father Christmas!! That should get it sorted.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Thanks Isidro. I agree with the points you made - except no. 2. The left lower cluster sitting too low, perhaps it could be a tad higher yes, but I do like the fact the the outer two blue flowers mimic the droop and bow of the outer two tulips behind. This was a naturally found occurence that prompted me to photograph. In my previous post you will note that this was an impromptu capture. I have no doubt that if the flowers were placed deliberately for the photo, I would have certainly paid more attention to the details mentioned. The pots do bother me though, as do the interfering leaves and obscurred tulip head.
Re your teaching using my pics - well what a compliment. I just hope it isn't to demonstrate how not to do it! ;) If you should like, I could mail you my original and full dissertation in Word format, or alternatively there is a cut down version on my website here.
Any readers of the above mentioned article will note in page 3 of the guide that I state "It will always be necessary to prepare, plan and organise meticulously prior to a light painting session. It is important to have the picture already drawn in your head or on paper, and if possible explore the setting before the scheduled shoot in order to look through the viewfinder and inspect different options for position, distance and framing, in daylight. This is certainly advisable for the beginner but not always necessary for the more experienced light painter, unless it is a complicated set or scene. The process does come naturally after practise, and these days I often light paint spontaneously as an alternative to a studio setting, hence the little nuances Isidro refers to.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . If the format of camera had been 4 x 5 there would have been more depth in the composition. Thereby eliminating the flat perception of the image.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Really, I do like your choices for colors...good work and please keep going!
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Very beautiful job of light painting. Excellent shot
No 4x5 needed... Mel, by saying 'flatness of the composition' you are saying it has no depth. A larger format camera will not change the illusion of depth. That would be from the placement of objects and less of a depth of field, created through choice of a larger aperture. The 4x5 is better in some instances for aligning verticals of buildings, etc., or for a longer depth of field on a horizontal plane through using the shifts and tilts (I call them shilts for short). So actually less sharp (less depth of field) would create the illusion of more depth, and you don't need a 4x5 for that.
Quite beautiful I think it's a beautiful photo. Sorry I don't have anything constructive to say.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Hello my sis by name :-)
I'm very happy to see your work in the PoW. You know that I've been an admiror or your painting with light technique and your work has inspired me to try by myself (I even got one right!)
I hope this PoW will inspire much more people to get creative instead of picking nits up.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . The painting with light technique I have tried after coming across G.'s folder some time back. I was impressed with the ability to highlight the more interesting parts of the subject while minimizing reflections and background distractions by using a long exposure and a tiny penlight (torch). G. was very helpful to me in my attempts and provided excellent advice on focusing and technique. So nice to see this selected as POW!
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . I think this is a pretty below average photo. I think everyone is impressed by the light painting technique and not the actual fine details of the shot. I don't want to sound petty or have a case of sour grapes but the flowers are not sympathetic in shape or size, the arrrangement of them seems unbalanced, the pots are mismatched. The hyacinths are in a plastic pot that is sticking out over the top of the white ceramic pot and just looks plain tacky. I think that a better shot would have just been the tulips by themselves. I hope this is taken as contrustive criticism. Cheers Brento
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Mr Spinak! It's been too long since I last saw you on the POW page! I can't disagree with your observations and suggestions here, and these words will echo long after the POW is gone; "Remember to be at your most attentive, careful, and meticulous, when creating pictures like this." Which I will surely do.
Thank you for your in-depth critique Mike, one of several received from you over the years, which have helped me re-evaluate and develop my approach to photography.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . I'd also like to offer my congratulations to G on getting POW. It is well deserved. Sorry to say that I haven't read the whole thread, but Mr. Spinak has made some very good points concerning the composition, so I feel no need to elaborate. Although I would like to say that truer words were never spoken when he added, "Remember to be at your most attentive, careful, and meticulous, when creating pictures like this". That is indeed what it all comes down to at this level. And when all you need are some tweaks it means you're very close. As for the lighting, I've done a good deal of light painting over the years so I know how difficult it can be. I'd say you've done a very fine job here. I do favor the background of the original post over other version you've attached, but this simply reflects my personal preference to minimize distraction. Again, my congratulations on POW, and for a fine photograph.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Beautiful light, colors and composition. Excellent work.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Striking palette and beautifully controlled light. I prefer the first version which isolates the flowers beautifully. In the second version I concentrate more on the wall shadows in which I see a figure almost like a genie coming out of a bottle. I agree with the comments about the leaves, vases. I've also admired Jorge Grundler's work since first looking at photos here and now seeing your work as well, I would like to try it eventually myself.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Well you should certainly take my comments with a large grain of salt. since I am a beginner and totally new on here. Many commented on the flower placement and obstruction of leaves; but since I am mostly and outdoor photographer, it seems to me the randomness of the arrangement "problems" mentioned are to be expected. I guess we "interpret" what we see but in nature it is still random. The glass/ceramic pot complements the color of the wall or vice versa, the brown liner complements the color of the floor. Your lighting in all (3?) photos is intriguing, my first look at it. The lighting on the flowers is delicate and striking. The streaks on the wall, I find mysterious and intriguing. Could the picture be improved, certainly, everybodys can. Now you see my naive insight...:) Thanks for sharing!!
Thats a great pic Well, I am a novice photographer (I only started to learn what is exposure, white balance, focus,.....etc two weeks ago) but, I sincerely feel that Your photo is very artistic and captivating, THUMBS UP for ya... Someday I wish I too can take photos like that, but for now, I'm still learning about photography.... CONGRATULATIONS...........!!!!
Boring Another one of those "in-studio" shots.
Response To Tulip Lanterns by G . Beautiful photo! Rats Off To Ya!
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Congrats to PN staff: another pseudo-photo selected as "photo of the week". Keep it up!
This is a nice image but to me looks everything except a photo.
Response to Michele Michele, please could you expound on your comments "pseudo-photo", and "looks everything except a photo"? It is a photograph, so I do not understand what you are trying to say.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Hi G.,
someone talked of this photo as a "light painting". To me this looks much more like a "Photoshop painting". I might be wrong but this is what it looks like to me. In this sense this is a photo-based picture, but nolonger a photo, so a pseudo-photograph. I mean... nothing with u or with the technique u used, result are and still remain great... but I think would be much more usefull for everyone here if u now show us also the orignal shot together with the Photoshopped one.
Response to Tulip Lanterns by G . Thankyou for your reply Michele, however you are mistaken. This is not a photoshopped picture at all. It is captured in camera only, apart from levels adjustments. The technique is using a long exposure in the dark whilst 'painting' light into the areas you choose with a torch/flashlight. If you would like to understand more, please read the thread and follow the links. Thanks.
Hmm My grandmother gave all the boys a mini-mag light for Christmas. Everyone put their batteries in and we started waving the lights around on the ceiling in a sort of Light Saber/Ghost Busters sort of way. I snapped the D70 into the tripod and took some exposures. It looked sort of like one of those Pink Floyd laser light shows. I wish we would have had the little color filters for the flashlights, which would have been cool. Anyway we decided to 'paint' the ceiling fan. Artsy, but not quite photo of the week caliber.