Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Flashlight Foto...Try It Yourself!

Not exactly mixed media, this, but I DO use all my bad photos (the ones that don't turn out as well) as the substrate for paintings. I use clear gesso on the enlargements, and acrylics when the gesso is dry. It's sort of like paint-by-numbers, cheating but not really, since I took the photos.

NOW, here's how to paint with light!

You need a camera on a tripod, a cable release, a very dark room, and flashlight(s) with or without colored cellophane or a filter over the flashlight lens. You can use a colored filter over the camera lens too, if you like, but let's keep this simple, ok?

Arrange your subjects and frame them in the viewfinder with the room lights on. Then turn off the lights, begin the exposure,  and play the flashlight over the subject, moving it constantly to prevent hot spots. It's trial and error, so try one exposure at 15-20 seconds, another at 30-45 seconds, and another at one minute, perhaps. I usually set my f-stop at f-16 or so.
Any questions? Email me! And please become a follower and/or a friend...I need all the help I can get!


  1. Lovely! One of dreams is to be able to take photos like this one and use it in my artwork.

    Thank you for your comment on my art. :)

  2. Paula ~
    I have been reading your sensational blog and wish to say Thank You for all of your hints and tutorials! I am especially inspired by this post and must try it soon. I also like the way you write ~ thanks for finding me so that I could find you! ~ Katie


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