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Dieselstation Car Forums _ Technique & Tutorials _ Lightpainting

Posted by: DonJuanMair Aug 21 2011, 10:15 AM

So as most of you know i dont shoot cars too much anymore. But a good friend of mine just got a black car he wants me to shoot. So i want to wow him and light paint that bad boy. Thing is i dont really know what light i need for it. I know everyone is hush hush about it. But i just want to shoot one car. Can anyone help and tell me what type of continuous light i need

Posted by: Mitch Hemming Aug 21 2011, 07:41 PM

Everyones hush hush about light painting? :S

anyways.. I'm pretty ghetto.. so I just picked up a 30cm fluro tube from my local hardware store, cut the wires and attached little pins/plugs. Then purchased a motorbike battery (pretty small one), and I just plug the light into the battery terminals and wolah!

It lasts about 10 hours with continuous use.

but... it is a little weak. In challenging lighting conditions it isn't bright enough. So i'm thinking of getting a rechargeable LED light strip/torch panel thing. I think thats what most guys use

Hope this helps!

also, post up pics after you've shot the car smile.gif

Posted by: DonJuanMair Aug 21 2011, 10:53 PM

thanks Mitch! really appreciate it. I will go to my hardware store tomorrow and have a look. Im thinking of doing the whole shoot at night time in a garage somewhere anyway. nothing too crazy. Maybe ill look for something a little stronger also

Posted by: Blue Devil Aug 22 2011, 06:36 AM

just don't try to fight a lot of different type of light sources... and try to go toward a darker area... or not directly lit by anything else... you will find that later on in post processing it will be a bitch...

Posted by: Konrad Janicki Aug 22 2011, 01:10 PM

some barn doors (or how its called) on your light could help, for me it improved my editing a lot smile.gif

Posted by: link Aug 22 2011, 01:32 PM

Hey dude,

this is 100% unretouched, fresh out of the camera:




I use a 4 foot 4 bulb KINO (but you'll get the same result with a long flouro tube.)

I shoot in complete darkness or as close to it as i can and use the kino to light the environment too. 30 second exposure and experiment with my aperture until im happy. I use 30 seconds because it allows me to light the bg and the car in one shot so i spend less time compositing later.

This was lightpainted in the street under the brooklyn bridge.... had to fight all the streetlights etc took a minute to get it right and to get the WB right later, i wouldnt recommend trying it on your first attempt. As dark as possible will make it easier on you.


This is a behind the scenes video of me lightpainting a ferrari 458:


play with the body lines until you get a good highlight. The one on the shot of the 300c from my other thread took forever to get we had to play with the height of the light for a while.



Hope this helped. PM me if you've got any questions.

Posted by: MaTBoY Aug 22 2011, 07:31 PM

I made an LED light box with 12 super bright, white LED'S. Basically, just a glorified torch. If i want to do details and stuff I use it direct, If I'm trying to get that watery look i throw it in a soft box. You could do the same with an automotive work light or a really bright torch with a wide angle.

Set your exposure to 30' or to bulb, do a test shot to see what F-stop you need for the environment your in, then have some fun. Just remember LONG SMOOTH deliberate movements will give you a clean crisp look. Side side movements usually seem to come out better than up-down too.

For a black car try getting as bright a source as possible and put in a massive octobox. guarantee it will come out sexy wink.gif

comparison of light on same model car:

bare


softy

Posted by: ImAwesome Aug 22 2011, 08:13 PM

On my phone...posting to remind myself to add to this later

Posted by: MaTBoY Aug 23 2011, 03:33 PM

you got me all inspired to try a different light source. this was the result.

Walked around the car with an AB800 in a softbox. (That bright spot on the rear quarter must have been an accidental click in photoshop.... meh, it's a test shot of a dirty car at an average location, so i can live with it tongue.gif )


Posted by: DonJuanMair Aug 24 2011, 06:24 PM

i feel like a lot of these look the same as if you were just to light it with normal strobes

what Link did in his latest shoot is what im looking for, i think im only going to be able to get this with tubes

Posted by: GFWilliams Aug 25 2011, 03:00 AM

This the kind of thing you're after?

Posted by: MaTBoY Aug 25 2011, 03:46 AM

wow!

Can i ask what techniques and equipment you used?

That shot is F'ing amazing!!!

Posted by: DonJuanMair Aug 25 2011, 02:29 PM

yeah thats real nice George

Posted by: link Aug 25 2011, 05:52 PM

the look you want is going to be bare tubes up high. The height will depend on the body lines of the car.... going to take a few tries to see what height produces the stripe on the body line.

Posted by: Blue Devil Aug 25 2011, 07:00 PM

There is a lot of different styles you can get with light painting... there is also the softter side... like this:




Posted by: MaTBoY Aug 25 2011, 07:31 PM

Bookmarked your site George. So much high quality work on there.

those camaro shots are rad too!

Posted by: link Aug 25 2011, 09:57 PM


Posted by: GFWilliams Aug 26 2011, 07:09 AM

QUOTE(MaTBoY @ Aug 26 2011, 03:31 AM) *
Bookmarked your site George. So much high quality work on there.

those camaro shots are rad too!


Thanks, I'll give some info on the lighting when i get home tonight smile.gif It's actually very simple...

Posted by: Leafy Aug 26 2011, 07:25 AM

Subscribed. Need help with technique as well. This is where I am at so far.


Posted by: DonJuanMair Aug 26 2011, 12:48 PM

Blue Devil that second one is really nice

Posted by: daniele fontanin Aug 28 2011, 02:29 AM

great post Anthony!
I'm in the same situation...Here in Italy I can't easly find equipment...I hope in a help also by George! The pic of the ultima is amazing!

Posted by: john jovic Aug 30 2011, 07:59 PM

I had a Light Painting 'how to' on DS about a couple of years ago but the links to that are no longer valid. The new/updated Light Painting guide are below, as well as Automotive Lighting, in general.

Light Painting http://photocornucopia.com/1035.html
Car Lighting (which runs over several pages and includes the above) http://photocornucopia.com/1028.html

JJ

Posted by: bkl Sep 1 2011, 09:20 PM

^ thank you very much for that! i scrolled quickly through it but have bookmarked it to read further into it sometime soon

Posted by: daniele fontanin Sep 10 2011, 09:43 PM

George!
We are all waiting for your post man!
:-)

Posted by: GFWilliams Sep 10 2011, 11:10 PM

QUOTE(daniele fontanin @ Sep 11 2011, 05:43 AM) *
George!
We are all waiting for your post man!
:-)


Shit, sorry!

Just popping out to play, but will do it when I get home smile.gif

ETA: there's a very very basic explanation on my blog here about a few of the studio shots smile.gif
http://gfwilliams.net/Blog/Entry/11.html

Posted by: GFWilliams Sep 11 2011, 12:45 PM

Been a bit busy. Will hopefully do tomorrow.

Posted by: MaTBoY Sep 12 2011, 06:55 PM

All this talk got me inspired to get off my arse and shoot something. I had limited time with the car and it wasn't moving from it's garage.


Posted by: CasseTrop Sep 12 2011, 08:37 PM

With my Cell Phone Flash...


Posted by: Seethegrim Sep 13 2011, 01:52 AM

QUOTE(CasseTrop @ Sep 13 2011, 06:37 AM) *
With my Cell Phone Flash...


hahahahaha, man you get an award for most innovative. Until someone decides to strap a glow-stick to their Mr John downstairs & dance naked around car to lightpaint.

Posted by: Blue Devil Sep 13 2011, 03:38 AM

QUOTE(Seethegrim @ Sep 13 2011, 05:52 AM) *
hahahahaha, man you get an award for most innovative. Until someone decides to strap a glow-stick to their Mr John downstairs & dance naked around car to lightpaint.

Note to self: Try this!

When cop has gun to my head asking me what the fuck i am doing.. just say: "It's art man...."

Posted by: daniele fontanin Sep 13 2011, 09:39 AM

QUOTE(CasseTrop @ Sep 13 2011, 06:37 AM) *
With my Cell Phone Flash...


doh! I need to change my shitting panasonic gd90!

Posted by: MaTBoY Sep 14 2011, 02:01 PM

Tried something a bit different with how i light the car. Shots are just of my gf's car on the driveway, but they're dark enough that it doesn't matter to much. I'll be shooting a tracked up Evo 9 over the weekend. I'll try to apply the same technique on that and post up.





Posted by: daniele fontanin Sep 21 2011, 10:05 PM

George, the post on the blog is cool man!
Thanks for shearing!

Can you gus have some indications not about what kind of light but how to use it?
I mean: do you lighpaint from up to down? directly to the car? During lightpaintind are you walking in front of the camera or do you use a pole to move the light?
And so on...can you give me some tips?
Thank you!

Posted by: daniele fontanin Sep 22 2011, 10:34 AM

and another question

circular polarizer yes or not?

Posted by: Mitch Hemming Sep 23 2011, 03:20 PM

QUOTE(daniele fontanin @ Sep 23 2011, 04:34 AM) *
and another question

circular polarizer yes or not?



+1

does anyone actually use a CP when lightpainting? im yet to try it...

Posted by: Seethegrim Sep 25 2011, 05:07 AM

Yes. Just like normal shooting, one uses a CP to cut out unwanted reflections, the same applies for lightpainting.

Posted by: daniele fontanin Sep 25 2011, 10:51 AM

cool!
thank you Seagram!

Posted by: Mitch Hemming Sep 26 2011, 02:06 AM

QUOTE(Seethegrim @ Sep 25 2011, 11:07 PM) *
Yes. Just like normal shooting, one uses a CP to cut out unwanted reflections, the same applies for lightpainting.


yeah well duhh..

but what I wanna know is if the CP area actually affects the light painting 'strip' ?

ill just try it and find out for myself i think

Posted by: GFWilliams Sep 26 2011, 02:44 AM

You can work the CP to your advantage if there are background reflections you want to cut out. It can affect the line, but I found it doesn't tend to. Just give it a go smile.gif

Posted by: Andrew Sep 26 2011, 03:55 PM

If you need to use a CPL when lightpainting, your light source isn't bright enough. The irony then is that the filter eats even more light.

You should be able to lightpaint without fretting over reflections from ambient light, and 9/10 your ambient light will be coming from all angles so the filter will not be performing at its best. Add in the increased chance of flare, and how much of a bitch it can be to set up in the dark and my CPL stays in the bag throughout the nighttime.

Here's my take on http://longexposuretips.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-to-lightpainting-cars.html

Posted by: Luuk Sep 27 2011, 12:12 AM

.GIF is the future!




Posted by: Seethegrim Sep 29 2011, 06:37 AM

QUOTE(Mitch Hemming @ Sep 26 2011, 12:06 PM) *
yeah well duhh..

but what I wanna know is if the CP area actually affects the light painting 'strip' ?

ill just try it and find out for myself i think


There is a fine point on my CP where the light is slightly dulled & where the reflections are taken away. If I can get it right in the middle I can get a non-reflective surface and the light strip. Re-reading my previous statement did sound kind of dumb.

Posted by: GFWilliams Oct 2 2011, 12:58 PM

Is lightpainting overdone now?
I could have lightpainted this yesterday, but decided to light with strobes...


Posted by: Andrew Oct 2 2011, 05:37 PM

IMO it's really just coming into its own although it'll never replace natural light/ strobes/ studio. I envisage lighting specialists and photographers getting more canny with their techniques, either to conceal the LP or to mix lighting styles.

It'll remain pretty niche because it's too damn time consuming and you can only do it at night. Find a way around those obstacles and it'll take off.

For your shot, with the light trails in the bg, neat lightpainted highlights on the car would've worked well but considering the circumstances you/ the strobes have done a fair job. I love catching that last hint of twilight.

Posted by: v2lab Oct 3 2011, 09:13 PM







i usually do em' in sections;
- > side of the car to the front
- > front of the car & lower bumper
- > top of the car and hood
- > full over the top of the car
---
and as an added > i like to do reflections in and through the windows - because well i sort of like that effect (but only sometimes)

Posted by: Mitch Hemming Oct 4 2011, 03:39 AM

ah im so tired of seeing lightpainting done in boring as shit locations. no offence


just seems like no one puts any thought into locations nearly as much as they do lighting the car sad.gif

Posted by: CasseTrop Oct 4 2011, 11:35 AM



Cell phone flash lightpainting again hehe.

Posted by: daniele fontanin Oct 4 2011, 09:31 PM

mmmmmm
I bought a neon some days ago...yesterday I was in my garage for a test........NO GOOD!
I was always in front of the camera or over the car with the light...can you show me the position where you lightpaint guys?

Posted by: GFWilliams Oct 4 2011, 10:08 PM

Well I discovered last night that my fluero tube just isn't powerful enough sad.gif

Posted by: Mitch Hemming Oct 5 2011, 12:09 AM

QUOTE(GFWilliams @ Oct 5 2011, 04:08 PM) *
Well I discovered last night that my fluero tube just isn't powerful enough sad.gif



haha same

get an LED handheld one. you can get ones which are rechargeable biggrin.gif

Posted by: Andrew Oct 5 2011, 04:54 AM

QUOTE(GFWilliams @ Oct 5 2011, 07:08 AM) *
Well I discovered last night that my fluero tube just isn't powerful enough sad.gif


What was the problem - dark car colour or fighting ambient light?

Posted by: Seethegrim Oct 5 2011, 06:02 AM

I lightpaint with strobe. ph34r.gif nerd.gif

Posted by: GFWilliams Oct 5 2011, 10:04 AM

QUOTE(Andrew @ Oct 5 2011, 12:54 PM) *
What was the problem - dark car colour or fighting ambient light?


Was a flat grey gloss. And I was fighting a lot of ambient...

Posted by: Blue Devil Oct 6 2011, 03:59 PM

i light paint with fire?

here is a problem... lightpainting is the new HDR... just because the car is lightpainted doesn't make the photo good... I done my share of crappy locations... and i know that locations is something I struggle with.... but come on guys... location is just as important as everything else... it's a whole thing.. the package.

Posted by: Blue Devil Oct 6 2011, 04:01 PM

QUOTE(v2lab @ Oct 4 2011, 01:13 AM) *


overexposed the top of the car... loss of detail there.

Posted by: GFWilliams Oct 7 2011, 12:36 AM

QUOTE(Blue Devil @ Oct 6 2011, 11:59 PM) *
i light paint with fire?

here is a problem... lightpainting is the new HDR... just because the car is lightpainted doesn't make the photo good... I done my share of crappy locations... and i know that locations is something I struggle with.... but come on guys... location is just as important as everything else... it's a whole thing.. the package.



I agree with what you've said there...

I want to lightpaint with fire, but just know that I'd end up setting myself on fire whistle.gif

Posted by: Seethegrim Oct 10 2011, 10:07 AM



Check the rest of this dudes channel. Now *that* is some serious light painting...

Posted by: Blue Devil Oct 13 2011, 08:35 AM

^ I have seen his work before... and I always liked it. My only concern now that I know a bit more is that the lighting on the overall image is a bit all over the place. Specially the floor... but regarless I shouldn't talk because I haven't done anything that big. So, hats off... I would LOVE to try something like that. smile.gif


The train shoot is AWESOME!

Posted by: daniele fontanin Oct 16 2011, 09:58 AM

First attempt.
I would appreciate impressions, indications, like, not like and all what you all guys are thinking watching the pic.
I'm quite happy about the result: post prod is 5 mins...the colours were cool in my opinion so I decided to try a lightpainting of my car.


Posted by: GFWilliams Oct 17 2011, 03:21 AM

Daniele - the background is incredible, especially the sky smile.gif The car is quite sloppy though. The big highlight over the bonnet and windscreen is doing nothing to add to the image and isn't showing the lines of the car. What I would suggest is making the line thinner and pick out the details of the car as the elise has lots of nice details and lines. Also, and this is a personal thing, I'd quite like it if the headlights were on smile.gif

Hope this helps a little smile.gif

Posted by: daniele fontanin Oct 17 2011, 08:14 AM



I will follow your indications!

Posted by: GFWilliams Oct 17 2011, 12:51 PM

What I mean to elaborate slightly is that you should aim to show the lines of the car - if you look at the below picture (taken a long while ago so I'm seeing lots of faults now!) the highlight over the wheel arches shows the car line really well. The thick line along the side just looks wrong. So in future if I tried to do the same shot I'd hold the light horizontally and highlight all the little details smile.gif


Posted by: PGD Nov 1 2011, 06:45 AM

Excellent thread folks thumbs_up.gif Great to hear all your opinions and tips on the subject.

This is my latest effort:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pgdesignscouk/6299473858/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pgdesignscouk/6299473858/ by http://www.flickr.com/people/pgdesignscouk/, on Flickr

I'd like to slim down the reflections on the side of the car down hugely if possible, down to a fine line tbh, any tips on how to do that?

My home made light box is about 300mm square, I have a second box which is approx 700x100mm and find that to be too thick too, even held on its side.

Walking with the light further away from the car has helped in the past, but so often I find I dont have the room to do that. This location was very tight, and muddy dry.gif

Posted by: Mitch Hemming Nov 1 2011, 08:31 PM

This is my most recent light painting sesh
I like the look of photos which don't have 100% light painting in them



http://www.flickr.com/photos/mitch_hemming/6283113604/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mitch_hemming/6283113604/ by http://www.flickr.com/people/mitch_hemming/, on Flickr

Posted by: bkl Nov 8 2011, 09:20 PM

first time light painting with fluoro bulbs with my car
go ahead.. i can take the comments for a first timer
shot composed of 2 pics.. no distractions were ps out
http://www.flickr.com/photos/65184233@N08/6323090523/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/65184233@N08/6323090523/ by http://www.flickr.com/people/65184233@N08/, on Flickr

Posted by: PGD Nov 27 2011, 09:14 AM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pgdesignscouk/6396343875/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pgdesignscouk/6396343875/ by http://www.flickr.com/people/pgdesignscouk/, on Flickr

Posted by: MaTBoY Dec 6 2011, 06:28 PM



3 shots. along the side. Across the top. Bonnet and front of car.

Posted by: DonJuanMair Feb 21 2012, 08:17 PM

ive recently been lightpainting smaller things, wine bottles, colognes etc etc my vagabond powers the tubes but theyre not that big so my question

how are you guys getting power out there in the wild? anyone using a Vagabond?

Posted by: Daz Feb 22 2012, 05:44 AM

QUOTE(DonJuanMair @ Feb 22 2012, 04:17 AM) *
ive recently been lightpainting smaller things, wine bottles, colognes etc etc my vagabond powers the tubes but theyre not that big so my question

how are you guys getting power out there in the wild? anyone using a Vagabond?

I personally power it off the cigarette lighter smile.gif.

Posted by: Blue Devil Feb 27 2012, 11:56 AM

I use this....


my wife's truck... it has a regular power outlet. smile.gif

Posted by: l!zerd Dec 4 2012, 01:48 PM

Here's one of my recent light painting shots!


Posted by: l!zerd Dec 4 2012, 01:57 PM

QUOTE(DonJuanMair @ Feb 21 2012, 09:17 PM) *
ive recently been lightpainting smaller things, wine bottles, colognes etc etc my vagabond powers the tubes but theyre not that big so my question

how are you guys getting power out there in the wild? anyone using a Vagabond?


i use a power inverter that plugs into my cig lighter and use a 100ft extension cord to power my lightsaber (undercabinet fluorescent bulb fixture) haha

Posted by: john jovic Dec 5 2012, 02:31 PM

You can also make your own battery powered fluoro's if you're that way inclined, although you can buy vaguely similar units too.

18W vs 36W fluorescent lights


http://photocornucopia.com/1050.html



http://photocornucopia.com/1051.html


Posted by: l!zerd Dec 7 2012, 12:10 PM

Nice find!!!! i think i may have a little project coming up in the near future biggrin.gif

Posted by: Mosyere Feb 11 2013, 06:43 AM

What is your thought about http://www.niceledlights.com for the shoot? WIl they work well?

Posted by: C3Photography Jun 10 2013, 09:37 AM

Has any one tried light painting with Video LED light ?


Posted by: Brent B Jun 19 2013, 11:46 AM

QUOTE(C3Photography @ Jun 10 2013, 12:37 PM) *
Has any one tried light painting with Video LED light ?


Check this out--might be helpful: http://motivelife.com/topics/knowledge/209-z3-ls1-swap-post-processing

The light is the Neewer CN-126 LED light... I was thinking about ordering one of these, but I've used LED's before, and in my photos you could see the reflections of the rows of LED's--very distracting and annoying. I really like the look GF Williams and Frederic Schlosser get with their light paintings... I'm not sure what both of them use currently, but I believe Frederic at least used to use a three-foot fluorescent bulb. If Frederic happens to see this, I'm curious as to what he uses to power his light. I like what John Jovic posted above, but am just curious as to what others utilize. smile.gif

_________________

http://www.flickr.com/photos/84613039@N04/ | https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brent-Burford-Photography/198969723555204?ref=ts&fref=ts

Posted by: The Unibomber Jul 16 2013, 07:01 AM

http://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-12-in-White-Fluorescent-Battery-Operated-Utility-Light-17406/202024479#.UeT91uD_ePI

was thinking of picking up one of those. Do you think it would be powerful enough?

Posted by: john jovic Jul 18 2013, 12:31 PM

QUOTE(The Unibomber @ Jul 17 2013, 01:01 AM) *
...

was thinking of picking up one of those. Do you think it would be powerful enough?


In a word, no.

Eight Watt fluoro's are a dime a dozen, often with 2 x 8W tubes, but they really are quite weak. They might be fine in a studio or where you can eliminate ambient light and then work slowly (to extend the exposure to the light from the 8W tubes) but pretty weak for outdoor use. Cranking up your ISO helps but only if you're not competing with ambient lighting because it doesn't the ratio of your light to ambient light. I have something similar with 2x8W tubes and aside from initially trying it out it's never really seen any photographic use, just too weak. It's great for the garage, to work on your car!

Posted by: The Unibomber Jul 18 2013, 07:14 PM

QUOTE(john jovic @ Jul 18 2013, 02:31 PM) *
In a word, no.

Eight Watt fluoro's are a dime a dozen, often with 2 x 8W tubes, but they really are quite weak. They might be fine in a studio or where you can eliminate ambient light and then work slowly (to extend the exposure to the light from the 8W tubes) but pretty weak for outdoor use. Cranking up your ISO helps but only if you're not competing with ambient lighting because it doesn't the ratio of your light to ambient light. I have something similar with 2x8W tubes and aside from initially trying it out it's never really seen any photographic use, just too weak. It's great for the garage, to work on your car!


Thanks john! Ultimately I came to that same conclusion and kept looking. Finally found a rechargeable 90 LED (3x30) work light. Not too expensive and supposed to be pretty bright. Will post findings once I get it.

Posted by: The Unibomber Jul 18 2013, 07:20 PM

QUOTE(C3Photography @ Jun 10 2013, 11:37 AM) *
Has any one tried light painting with Video LED light ?


yeah. This was the first light painting shot I've ever done. It was with one of those 30 dollar hot shoe LED blocks for video they sell on amazon. In stock form the back has what I think are air vents that leak light out the back. Just taped on some cardboard to block it out though and seemed to work fine.


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