Image of the Week | Hodgepodge Creative - image of the week

By: Hodgepodge Creative  09-12-2011

…or in other words, how to keep kids (and fun loving adults) entertained for hours.

The glow from our campfire painted the trees blood red. The only post-exposure editing is a bit of increased contrast.

A spooky moon/tree combo prompted me to haul out the tripod and camera over Thanksgiving weekend. The rest, as they say, was history.

Camera buffs: if you have never played around with “painting with light” , this exercise will help you remember why you fell in love with photography in the first place. Quite simply: it’s fun!

Gear you’ll need:

              • a camera
              • a tripod
              • a flashlight


1) Well after sunset, set up your camera on your tripod. Have your subject stand a good distance away (these examples were shot at about 10-15 feet). Set your camera to manual focus, and use your flash light to illuminate the subject to find your focus. (Cameras can’t focus in dark conditions).

2) Select a long shutter speed…about 4 seconds for zombie or ghost shots. I prefer to shoot in manual or TV (shutter priority) mode for this one. Aperture and ISO doesn’t really matter.

3) Press the shutter. While the shutter is open, exposing your picture, “draw” your subject with your flashlight. Think of it as colouring your subject with light. Anywhere the light hits will appear bright in the image. Everything else will be dark.

4) Experiment! Have your subjects move around as you paint or flash them with light. Conversely,  have them hold the light and flash it on and off as they move. See the examples below for some ideas.

These are meant to be fun…not perfect. Let the kids play around with whatever characters or techniques they want to try. Note: the longer they stand in one place, the more solid they will appear in the image.

Mike poses like a zombie as we flash him at various points with our flash light. Creepy!

Holding the flashlight under your face, flash it very briefly. Take a step forward then freeze. Flash the light again. Repeat.

Mike and Adam try for a body-snatching zombie effect as we flash them with light from our flashlights.

If your subject moves quickly while you are taking a picture and lighting them up, they will appear as a ghostly blur. Spooky!

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