The intriguing thing about lightpainting is you never know exactly what you’re going to get. And whatever you get, you won’t get it again. That’s part of the technique’s appeal: you’re creating a one-of-a-kind photograph.
Simply, a lightpainting photo is an image made with a handheld, constant light source in a dark room or environment. The camera’s sensor captures only what you choose to illuminate. Lightpainting images can range from relatively simple to fairly complicated. Striking photos can be created indoors with nothing more than a still life subject, a tabletop to put it on, and a small LED penlight to light it. Or you can think big: how about a mega-powerful spotlight illuminating prairie land in the Grand Tetons or a mesa in Monument Valley?
In 1987, my friends Julie and Jim bought the 12-room, three-story Victorian in which they’ve raised their daughters, Megan and Emily. Early on they researched the house and the Connecticut mill town in which it’s located. They found maps that indicated the house had been built between 1870 and 1875; town records revealed much of the chronology of ownership. Over the years they renovated the kitchen and one of the bathrooms, stripped layers of paint from woodwork and doors, replaced wallpaper and made restorations and repairs. They came to realize that the original floor plan of the house was pretty much intact, though there seemed to be some changes they couldn’t quite figure out. And Julie, Jim, Megan, and Emily—they like to figure things out. Often they thought, if only there were photographs of the old house.
That picture always held a fascination,” Michael Crouser says of an image he took in Paris in 1986. “It was just after college, and I hadn’t come to the point of understanding what my own aesthetic tastes were, but in that picture there was a hint of things to come…a bit of foreshadowing of the things I would go on to do.”
Outdoor and nature images are Michael’s specialty, and he’s been photographing for over 20 years in two of the world’s best locations for great outdoor imagery: Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. In fact, his images appear on posters sold by the National Park Service in their visitors centers. He also runs Visions Photographic Workshops, which regularly journeys to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.
Years ago Dale Huncovsky, owner of the only grocery in Cuba, Kansas, had a heart bypass operation. Since then several men from town show up once a week at Dale’s store to unload the semi that brings the week’s supply of groceries. That’s how the personal and the practical play out in Cuba.
Well, it’s really only one city—New York—but the assignment called for Jon Ortner to capture images so different in spirit and approach that he might as well have been in two very different cities.
There was not only a dual nature to the job itself but also something of a split personality to the building Jon was hired by developer J.D. Carlisle to photograph. Located between 29th and 30th Streets on Sixth Avenue, the 54-story structure in fact has two names and natures: from the street to the 25th floor it’s the Eventi Hotel; at the 26th floor it becomes the Beatrice and rental apartments.
A few months prior to the publication of Moose Peterson’s new book, Captured: Lessons from Behind the Lens of a Legendary Wildlife Photographer, he told me what to expect—or maybe, what not to expect. “It’s very unconventional,” he said. “I call it a romantic how-to.”
When I got the book I quickly figured out that the romance referred to Moose’s love of...
The thing you’ve got to watch out for is the pilot who gets a little too into the photography.
It’s not a common occurrence, to be sure, but…“I had a pilot who almost killed me,” says Cameron Davidson, who spends a good portion of his time in the air shooting for clients and his own projects. “I have this strict rule:...
Sports photojournalist Dave Black wants his photographs to attract and hold your attention. And he wants them to be as different from the next guy’s as possible; the next guy is, after all, the competition.
In search of the big differences that make for high impact photographs, Dave uses ideas as much as he uses technology.Here are four examples of his thinking about...