Sunday, January 15, 2017

Light Painting


Have you ever struggled to light a still life photograph?

Studio lights and flash often create harsh shadows where you don't
want them.

Look at the photo above.  The light is soft and wraps around
the subjects like natural light from a window.

Would you believe this was shot in my pitch black basement?
   I lit this with a technique called
Light Painting.

The light was "painted on" with a flashlight!

I show you how to do this technique in my 

But I wanted to share more of my light painting photos to inspire you.


With light painting, you get to choose exactly 
where the light falls on your subject creating the mood you desire!





                             I love to do light painting when I want to create a fine art photo
to hang on the wall.  It makes the photo look like a beautiful painting.

I can make this photo quite personal by using items
that have meaning to me.

The yellow floral pitcher in this next photo sits on my family room mantel.


I used it to create that still life and hung it over my fireplace!


It's highly personal because the pitcher in the photo is
right there on the mantel!

You never have to search for artwork to match a room!
Just light paint a still life with items from that room!

This photo and pitcher are quite a talking point when people enter my family room.
The colors in the artwork match the room because
the items in the artwork are FROM that room!


This photo was used in the Hallmark Christmas movie "Magic Stocking"!
A photo I created in my basement using
a pitcher from my mantel looks like fine art on the wall in a movie set!


I wanted to create a beautiful fine art photo for my daughter's dining room,
so I photographed her turquoise pitcher.


This photos was also used in the "Magic Stocking" movie set!!!


Here's another light painting I created for my daughter's kitchen
 using her great aunt's antique bowl.


This photo was used in the Hallmark Christmas movie "December Bride"!


You can really create some masterpiece artwork using items you
already have around the house and creatively painting them with light!


You can create elaborate scenes...try adding a candle for extra glow!


Or keep it simple:


I always edit my photos to perfect the look, often adding textures
to make them look more like paintings.

In this next series of photos, I set up on our ping-pong table in the basement.

At the far end of the table, I strung some pink Christmas lights from my
white tri-fold board I bought at the craft store.

I set up my still life at the other end of the table
far enough away to create bokeh with the lights in the background.

I then used the light painting technique to light the still life.

Setting your still life on a piece of glass will
reflect light, and in this case, the pretty bokeh!

You'll have to play with your camera settings, but I use my
50mm f1.4 lens and start with:

f2.8  (The larger the aperture the better the bokeh!)
2-sec. shutter (Because there is already a lot of light from the string lights.)
ISO- 100


Experiment with items further back that will blur into art.


Add more items.


I really love sparkly bokeh in the background!



Have fun experimenting with this highly creative
technique while you're stuck indoors during the dreary winter months!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Vintage Val's Hunt for the Perfect Christmas Tree


Vintage Val is back for her Christmas adventure!

This year, she visits a pine forest in search of the perfect Christmas tree.

Since this year, I challenged myself to composite all my Christmas portraits
into Winter Wonderland Christmas Card scenes...
I wanted to do the same with Val.

Thus, we shot everything in front of my famous white board on my back porch!


Fortunately, we were able to accomplish this one day before we had a big
snow storm!   

I figured out the story line and decided to use background
photos I took in a pine forest last winter.

I had each photo carefully thought out, so I could photograph Val at the
perfect angles to fit the scenes.

Quite an ambitious project...but OH, SO FUN!


You can see the props on my grill!

The beautiful red furry coat was on loan from my friend Terri.
I sewed the hat using fake fur from another hat!

Here's the story of
Vintage Val's Christmas Tree Adventure

Val leaving her Christmasy home to hunt for a Christmas tree!


Only Vintage Val would have a car to match Christmas!


My father-in-law's vintage saw!

My husband's boyhood red racer sled!





I photographed the red vintage car at an antique car show!






My red ladder I found at Goodwill!


Vintage Val and I wish you the happiest holidays EVER!

Creating Santa's Arm Photos


I have always loved the charming photos with Santa's arm, 
but didn't want to purchase a Santa suit to create them.

A few weeks ago, I had a FLASH vision!

In my mind, I saw one of those cheapy Christmas stockings
with the toe cut off and an arm through the top...
Instant Santa arm!!!

When I get these visions, I am on a mission to
accomplish what I saw, so I hurried over to Goodwill and
found one of the red fake fur stockings for 49-cents!

I used a vintage cotton white glove that are readily available 
at most thrift stores, but you could also use a simple
white knit glove available at a dollar store as pictured.



Then I invited my photo pals Lucy and Terri to come over
and play Santa!

We used lots of mugs and fun Christmas props I picked up 
at various thrift stores for a few bucks.


We were laughing so hard and having a great time with Santa's arm!




Try setting up on a table with your Christmas tree in 
the distance to create glittery bokeh in the background!


Try putting your kids' names on the naughty or nice list. 

I think this would be a fun project with the kids!
Maybe have Santa's arm interacting with the children, handing them
some candy or a present.


Terri thought of creating a naughty or nice list for pets!

How CUTE!!!


Terri also had the idea to have Santa's hand patting her
pup's head!

There are endless ideas for photographing Santa's arm
making it personal to you and your home!


I hope this sparks your imagination to come up with
even more fun poses!

If you do this project...post your results on my Facebook page and
I will share them!

I hope you have as much fun as we did!!