Using Light Painting to Create Beautiful Compositions
Featured Apps : Camera + / SlowShutter
Topics Covered: Blurs, Contrast, Tuning
No, you’re not seeing things. It’s meant to be blurred. You know the shots, the ones that look almost like paintings, kinda hazy like they’ve emerged from a fog of cloudy delirium and left us the best bits to give us enough of a glimpse to see what lies beneath… Curious as to how…? Follow me from the safety of the shore and swim awhile in the SlowShutter sea…
If you’ve ever wondered how to achieve the shudders without the stutters heres how. It’s easy, trust me … Would I lie to you? I am not a strong swimmer, similarly my dives into the app waters have been tentative .. but if I can do it – anyone can. It can shake up your stream a little, with breathtaking blurs, luminous light and fantastical flutters.
I had never used SlowShutter before I took this pic … never… the undertow series was my very first tentative paddle in the shallows with it. I had floaties on. But it was safe. I ventured OUTside – gasps… It’s okay to do this every now and then… in my case I went to the station, I figured anywhere there was a large sea of people would be great to exaggerate and suggest the tide of movement. Time to make a splash. Experiment awhile.
If you’re looking to put a new spin on your usual snapshot, SlowShutter takes features you’d normally find on a DSLR and transforms your iphone with 3 different modes for shooting.
• Light trail
You can adjust your shutter speed and sensitivity to allow more or less ‘light painting’ to occur. And, that’s the best part, the painting of the picture… I literally jumped straight in to whatever the default settings happened to be upon opening. Click and shoot. Sink or swim.
It’s about as complicated as you make it, try different variations until you get something that feels right and floats your idea, it’s more about setting a mood than being definitive and absolute. Finding that elusive core of the image, the soul, that imperfect blend of blur and light is more often than not what is perfect.
If you’re like me and work on instinct (and even if you’re not) and you can move beyond the normal idea that everything needs to be ‘clear’, you might surprise yourself a little bit by what can be revealed with less mess than splashing ink on a canvas.
STEP 1 : Open ‘SlowShutter’ App to take photo. Save image.
STEP 2 : Open up in ‘Camera+’, under Scene choose ‘Clarity’.
Choose the ’Faded’ feature under FX effect. Crop
STEP 3 : Save and reopen in C+ again. Select ’Cloudy’ under Scene
STEP 4 : Save and reopen for final step. Select ’Auto’ under Scene
STEP 5 : Select ‘Polarize’ under FX effect - and save final image.
Art. Done. No magic dust. Just a few simple waves to create those ripples in time.
5 extra tips
1. Automatic mode is best for creating ghostly ethereal effects that suggest motion or movement, crowds are good, people crossing at traffic lights, stations, steps. Shutter speed or length of each shot ranges from 0.5 - B.
2. Manual mode is great for difficult shooting conditions, areas of low light or when out night swimming or sweeping the streets, you can adjust the exposure after you take the pic ..
3. Light trail mode is a really amazing feature that allows you to paint with light … some things to try would be bright lights (LED’s, car headlights, stars, fireworks, flickering candles and flames) trains, tunnels, running water or shoot in the rain! The list is as long as your imagination and your camera roll…
4. There’s a self timer for those partial to an expressively soulful self shot, if you’re not a ballerina (to show graceful flowing movements) which I’m not, try your hands or feet, strong sexy silhouettes, and offer up hints of movement that are silky smooth and subtle.. oh and there’s a flash mode …
5. Use the freeze (available in either auto or light trail mode) - after you take the photo. Here you can put more or less emphasis on the first or last frame of the picture to up the intensity of the blur or soften it. Remember you can always bring it into your other favourite applications to heighten the contrast and clarity, and blend it with other images … but that’s another tutorial just waiting to happen … ;)
For Inspiration see : carlein @ilein, alan @wallah, & vicki @lazydra9on