Visual Diary 8: Painting Light

Painting light is making a photograph at night or in darkened rooms utilizing open shutter and the addition of light in order to reveal something that otherwise would be unobservable at this time of day. 

The picture is really a photo of light because it would otherwise be dark without the addition of lights. 

I had four people on my team to try painting light together. It was our first time doing an assignment like this, and it did not turn out very well. But we all learned a lesson. 

We found an abandoned barn in Ashland, Missouri. And figured out our concept to be: A barn lays abandoned, slowly becoming consumed by the wilderness that surrounds it. Many small family run farms have been run into the ground by large corporate run farms, leaving barns like this one to rot in its place. According to The Washington Post, the number of American farms has dropped significantly, "from more than 6 million in 1935 to roughly 2 million in 2012".

I was in charge of lighting the tree, so I gelled my flash to be blue, and kept flashing during the open shutter. My teammates lighted the building with a cool silver color, and the other one lighted a white light from inside the building. Each photo would take us around five minutes, and it took us two hours totally doing this assignment. 

However, it did not turn out to be what we expected. What I learned is, when you don't have enough people, enough flashes and enough batteries, try not to light a huge building. Sometimes enough light inside would turn out to be a better photo than the limited lighting outside.