Tag: lightpainting

It’s pretty hard to convince any photographer to lend their gear to someone, let alone a complete stranger. This incredibly fragile, complex equipment has not only cost us a small fortune but it’s our livelihood. However, thanks to developments in the industry, renting out your gear out makes complete sense both financially and socially. Let’s take a look at why, in 2018, you should be putting your photography equipment to work whilst you’re not using it yourself!

  1.     Networking:

Networking is a frustratingly important aspect of the photography industry and one that is often so hard to pull off. You’ve sent emails, swapped business cards and attended conferences: all to no avail. If you’re in this position, renting your equipment could be a game changer. Fat Lama, the peer-to-peer gear rental marketplace, is a gold mine for industry connections. Having amassed a collection of high-end equipment, including an expanding inventory of industry-standard photography gear, Fat Lama is now home to 50,000 creative professionals in London alone, renting everything from gimbals to density filters. Indeed, the act of just signing up gives you access to a tailored list if contacts that would take years of networking to collect.  East-London Filmmaker, Tom, described the marketplace as “a lazy networker’s dream’. Having rented I have met great people in the industry, some of which I will be working within the future”. This is the beauty of marketplaces in general. The fact that using the platform demands personal interaction, both online and in face-to-face, means that there are social benefits as well as financial.

  1.     Make Money

If you’re anything like me, you can probably attribute 30% of your yearly spending on updating and expanding your equipment rack. Lenses are always the killer; there always seems to be another lens that you need for a specific shot. If you’re serious about your art, then you’re going to spend, a lot, on photography equipment. But what if your gear could pay for itself? If you start renting your lenses and camera out they subsidise themselves and before long you will have made up the money you originally spent. The average rental price for a DLSR is between £20 to £30 per day, meaning that after two weeks of rental, you will have made up the price of a Canon EOS 1300D. It can become more than just a way to subsidise your equipment though if you play it right renting can become a serious source of income. Some people using Fat Lama have been able to make £3,700 per month by just renting their unused kit out. If you are a freelancer who is often between jobs, this can provide significant financial stability and (most importantly) it makes splashing the cash out on equipment a guilt-free exercise in future.  

  1.     Save Money

As just discussed, getting hold of equipment for photography is expensive enough as it is and with lightpainting you’re adding another stack of expenses. Collecting items such as density filters, cable releases, as well as a host of different lenses can take months of saving to amass. If light painting is just a passion that you like to explore in your free time, spending thousands of pounds on gear might be a little wasteful when borrowing is an option. In particular, if you are a beginner, just looking to try light painting out, the only way to feasibly have a go is to find a taster session. However, once you tap into sharing economy, this is no longer an issue. All of these items and more can be found online as a short-term rental on Fat Lama, which if you’re thinking of starting out or just looking to keep the cost down, will come as a welcome surprise.

  1.     Environmental Benefits

The rate at which technology is advancing has unimaginably changed the possibilities of photography; Light painting being an excellent example. However there is always a dark side to progress: waste. We are currently producing 50 million tons of electronic waste per year, which is highly toxic and for the most part, totally unnecessary. The photography industry is particularly guilty of unchecked consumerism; every time the industry advances we all need the newest technology to stay relevant. This is why renting needs to become the new norm. Borrowing rather than buying means you are investing in the ever-growing circular economy, without losing out on accessing the latest technology. It is a vision of sustainability that still allows for luxury, with governments around the world pumping money into anything that supports a sharing economy. You can shop without harming the planet and become an ethical consumer.

 

This is the story of how I fell in love with LightPainting Photography.

Garie Beach Firepainting-2

Running with Fire – 2010

 

In 2010 my nephew Moritz from Germany stayed with us for several months here in Sydney. One day he introduced me to a new friend he made over here Tobias “Toby” Huehnlich, who is a very talented Fire Twirler. At the time I was experimenting a little bit with Lightpainting techniques using LED’s and flashlights , but I always thought that it was just a bit gimmicky.

When Toby gave us a Twirling Demo at our home I immediately thought that this was just too good an opportunity to pass up on and that we had to do some long Exposure Photography with him twirling his Poi and Fire Staff.

Garie Beach Firepainting-1

Garie Twirl 1 – 2010

 

We decided to go down to Garie Beach in the Royal National Park just south of Sydney the next morning to give it a go.

We arrived a good hour before sunrise and basically started setting up shots straight away. I set up Nikon D700 with the 17-35mm F2.8 Zoom. Most of the images were shot with the following settings  ISO100 / f9 / 30s . I didn’t have a cable release or remote at the time, but managed to avoid any camera shake by carefully squeezing the shutter every time.

Garie Beach Firepainting-3

Toby was great to work with and really nailed the directions I gave him. It helps working with someone that understands composition when shooting photos like “Running with Fire.

In a lot of the shots I tried to get as much out of the reflection of the fire on the sand and the water as possible.

Garie Beach Firepainting-5

Three of the biggest take-aways from this shoot that really shaped my photography career were, firstly that I realised the limitless potential of Light Painting Photography, It is like adding a whole new layer to photography.

Garie Beach Firepainting-6

And the second take-away was that I knew that LightPainting works a really well when shooting at a location and having an interesting backdrop, as well as being able to see reflections and spill of the light. It really puts the Light-Art into the context  of the scene and adds more depth to the picture.

Garie Beach Firepainting-7

Lastly you have to have an open mind and play around when you create your images.

 

  • Use different movements and angle the light sources differently toward the camera
  • there are thousands of different light-sources you can use (LED Keychain Lights, Pixelstick, Torches, Flashlights, Sparklers, Steelwool, Carlights, etc.)
  • try different times at night. Is it a New Moon Dawn, Dusk, Full Moon. A bright full moon can add a lot of beautiful ambient light to your scene.

 

I really hope that I could at least inspire you a little bit to go out there and take some photos, because that is where your true inspiration comes from, when you find something that you can get passionate about.

Garie Beach Firepainting-4

I will never forget the day, as this was the day I fell in love with Light Painting, It did enough to inspire me for years to come and I consider myself very lucky to have been able to create a business around this craft.

Garie Beach Firepainting-3

Alexander Kesselaar is a Photographer and LightPainting Artist from Sydney Australia. Alex founded LightPaintLab in 2014 and has Painted with Light for companies such as Northline, Accenture, Bacardi, Tiger Beer, Telstra, Destination NSW and more.

 

For more info and awesome LightPainting Photos, check out LightPaintLab.com
You can follow Alex & LightPaintlab on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.

What?

This is a hands-on, fun and social photography workshop for photographers, who have a keen interest in learning the Art of LightPainting and Night Time Photography.
During the 2 Nights you will learn the techniques, principles & history behind Long Exposure and LightPainting Photography. We will teach you how to use LED’s, lights, fire, the pixelstick & torches to create unique masterpieces. All of this in some of the most incredible locations Sydney has to offer.
You will walk away with amazing images and a great understanding of this type of photography.

 

When?

Saturday the 14th & Sunday the 15th of November

6pm to 12am

 

Where?

In and around the Sydney CBD.

Saturday Meeting Point – Fleet Steps

Sunday Meeting Point – Hickson Road Reserve

 

What?

Bring your DSLR or Mirrorless Camera, that can shoot in manual mode, Tripod and optional Cable release. Alex will supply the LightPainting Equipment, LED’s, PixelStick and more… Feel free to bring your own contraptions if you have any.

 

I have been playing around with the Pixelstick a bit in the past few days. Loving it so far. It just gives you so much control. The whole thing is really well designed and thought out.

I will be experimenting a bit more with the custom images and animations in the coming weeks and am planning on releasing a video review / tutorial soon.

#pixelstick #como #nsw #australia #sydney #lightpainting #lightpaintlab #lpl

I have been playing around with the Pixelstick a bit in the past few days. Loving it so far. It just gives you so much control. The whole thing is really well designed and thought out.

I will be experimenting a bit more with the custom images and animations in the coming weeks and am planning on releasing a video review / tutorial soon.

For this shot I got the QE 2 to go past the Sydney headlands… 😉

Another one of the frames from the Lightpainting StopMotion Sequence for Bacardi. You can check out the whole Video on the LPL website.

Como Bridge Fire Painting with Tobias Hühnlich

A few months ago an old friend from Film School Henry Zalapa contacted me to see if I could help him with an Idea he had for an Ad for Bacardi, using stop-motion light painting techniques. It was great to catch up with Henry and I think the guys at Bacardi liked what they saw as they used it for the opening and the end of the video. Here are a few of the stills from the motion sequence.

 

Here is the alternate directors cut by Henry:

LightPaint Lab Photo Update – Fire Light painting with Tobias Hühnlich at the Royal National Park, Sydney in 2010






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