Lightpainting Workshop…

About three weeks ago I held my second Roberts Camera Education workshop here in Indianapolis.  The first workshop was a Sports Photography workshop which you can read about here.  This workshop was much more in homage to one of my photographic idols, Dave Black.  The latest workshop was a lightpainting workshop, and honestly it was a lot more popular than I had expected it to be.  Originally we had limited the number of students to 14, but we ended up with 17 (including my lovely wife Shannon).  It was a crowd, but our location was as such that we could accommodate it, and also create some really beautiful imagery.


That’s the Traders Point Creamery here in Indianapolis.  Light painted by several multiple Million Candle power lights over the span of a long exposure.  When I start teaching my students in my lighting classes, at the very beginning we do light painting before we do anything studio or small strobe related.  Anything you can do with the big Profoto, or Alien Bees, you can do with a Speedlight or a flash light.  It’s all about amount of power, and time.  As proof we have the shot above, of a very large barn; which was subsequently filled with cows.


(Setup shot from the beginning of the evening, obviously it was a lot darker for the workshop)

Lots of things went into this workshop, from the large lights to displaying the images.  I couldn’t have done this workshop well without using one of my favorite teaching tools; the CamRanger.  I wrote a blog a while back about this device as well, but since they have included a feature allowing you to transmit files to up to 50 devices wirelessly.  Using this we were able to shoot samples of light painting with my Nikon D4s, and transmit them immediately to some iPads which had the undivided attention of the 16 students.  How do I know I had their undivided attention?  Because as I started doing this, the focus was immediately turned off of the light painting momentarily, but as to how I was displaying images out of my D4s immediately on not one, but two iPads 10-20 feet away.  Instantly.  As a teaching tool this thing is incredible, but I digress.  We started small, and went larger.  Each student got their shot at the barn, and anything else on the farm for that matter.  We went until late in the evening and almost everybody stayed until the very end at 11:30 at night.  In fact some drove from a few hours away for the workshop too which was very humbling.  Great that everyone seemed to have a good time, and learned quite a bit.


That image above was taken much later than the initial in this post.  It was at an aperture of F5.6 instead of F22, which is where we started.  The workshop took place going through the Golden hour of light, all the way until deep darkness.  Unfortunately there was too much light pollution to really get a lot of stars, even at 11:30 that night when we wrapped everything up.  If you look very closely in the above frame you will see some stars, but not enough to get super excited about it….


So that was that.  There were a few more areas of Traders Point that we wanted to light paint (seen above), but when we scouted the area in February they were much nicer to look at than they were the night we were there for the workshop.  (Not that there is any part of Traders Point that isn’t nice, but the night we were there for the workshop the above pond was actually covered in algae.  Not as picturesque as without algae, by any stretch.   Shooting info.  All light paintings and the test shot were taken with a Nikon D4s.  Some with Nikon 14-24, others with the Nikon 24-70.  More Roberts workshops are coming up soon, and in fact we are planning my next sports workshop so keep your eyes peeled.  The last workshop was Hockey related, but this next one is going to be a bit more equestrian… Until then though, More soon.