Photo Essay

How these photos were done.

Disco Fever

Some have asked how the light painting was done. Stef purchased some light sticks from a dollar store, the sticks were her idea. The camera was set up on a tripod. I set the camera to aperture priority, F-stop to 12 and ISO 100. The F-stop and ISO were arbitrary and selected for DOF and longer exposure time.

I had Stef stand at the point where the photo would be shot and set the focus (make sure you have auto focus set to OFF).

With setup complete the person making the design standing in the correct place and holding the light sticks out of the photo the lights were shut off. If the light sticks are in the view of the camera when pressing the shutter it will shorten the exposure time.

Press the shutter button and create your design. Count the seconds to the shutter closes. If you do this on the next photo you can count off the time when creating your image. Of course holding the sticks in place increases the brightness and moving more quickly will create a fainter image.

The image that looks like stars was the flash reflecting off tiny bugs flying around at night and cigar smoke to simulate stellar gas.

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25 responses

  • Michael Adams

    Michael Adams said (9 Oct 2009):

    Cool explanation to some interesting shots!

  • Cindy Coubrough

    Cindy Coubrough gave props (10 Oct 2009):

    very cool idea =)

  • Robin Smith

    Robin Smith gave props (11 Oct 2009):

    very cool!

  • Lynda Jeffers

    Lynda Jeffers (Deleted) gave props (12 Oct 2009):

    Great informative story, great pics! My vote!

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham (Deleted) gave props (14 Oct 2009):

    This is so cool and has my vote.

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (14 Oct 2009):

    great shots and very informative story! Great job, Joe... and Stef, I know your arms are tired, you did a great job. too. I think mission accomplished. I hope this gets publish, so here is my vote. I will the second time but "can't find the second button"!!!!!!

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham (Deleted) said (14 Oct 2009):

    Congratulations on the feature Joe!!!!!!!! I told you it was a great story!!

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight (Deleted) gave props (14 Oct 2009):

    Congratulations Joe and Steff!

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (14 Oct 2009):

    Congrats to you both...Great story and photos. My vote!

  • Karen K Smith

    Karen K Smith gave props (14 Oct 2009):

    congrats on the feature of this excellent piece (and thanks for the tips).

  • Leslie Hunziker

    Leslie Hunziker   gave props (14 Oct 2009):

    I just saw this Joe! Fantastic! And well deserved.

  • Karen Foto Fiddler

    Karen Foto Fiddler (Deleted) gave props (15 Oct 2009):

    Got my vote!

  • Dhanny P

    Dhanny P (Deleted) gave props (15 Oct 2009):

    great photos and story..

  • Michael Ball

    Michael Ball gave props (15 Oct 2009):

    Congrats on the feature! Excellent essay, tips, and photos!! Voted!

  • Christopher J Chalk

    Christopher J Chalk gave props (15 Oct 2009):

    What a great explanation of light shooting and my CONGRATS Joe for ia story Published, well done mate!

  • peggy gardner

    peggy gardner gave props (15 Oct 2009):

    what fun, thanks for sharing !

  • Steven Maguire

    Steven Maguire gave props (15 Oct 2009):

    Great story!!!!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (17 Oct 2009):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

  • Norman Caldwell

    Norman Caldwell (Deleted) gave props (17 Oct 2009):

    Great creativity on this Joe!

  • Ann Reece

    Ann Reece   gave props (17 Oct 2009):

    Very interesting and really great photos that you got with the light sticks! Got my vote!

  • Laurie Brown

    Laurie Brown gave props (20 Oct 2009):

    Great explaination, Joe, Thanks! Can't wait to try this with the kids

  • Meggie Schwendemann

    Meggie Schwendemann gave props (11 Nov 2009):

    a very nice series JOE :) Thanks !!!

  • mike salcito

    mike salcito gave props (11 Nov 2009):

    Thanks for the lesson, I had no idea how this was done? Great essay

  • Željko Jelenski

    Željko Jelenski said (16 Nov 2009):

    Nice story, my vote!!!

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