I participated in a little photo workshop on Friday nite with my pals at Arlington Camera.   Since it was focused on light painting and I’m experimenting a lot with that myself, I figured it would be a good opportunity to get out and work on some new techniques and practice.

One of the interesting things we played around with was having someone make a neat orb out of a string of lights.


Probably not something I’ll be messing around with a lot, but it was a good experience to step outside my comfort zone and learn some new tricks I can put to use in the field.


Edited to add how to:

Seems several of you were interested in seeing how this process works so here you go.

I think to pull it off without a ton of running around, you need an assistant.  In the case of this project,  a fella was standing in the middle of the orb, with a series of lights, dangling off the end of a cord.  The cord was 3 or 4 feet long and he held the cord about gut level and then started spinning it, like a propeller.  While spinning, he turned around in a circle so that over time, the light enveloped him on a long exposure.  I snapped a shot of the process and here’s how it looked.


The details on the first picture I posted are:

f/4, 53 second exposure, iso @ 100.


~ by Derrick Birdsall on August 15, 2011.

20 Responses to “Orbs”

  1. Looks pretty cool. I am curious as to how it was done.

  2. Fascinating concept and image. Is it a physical object in the “real” world or is it created in-camera or Photoshop? What other kinds of “light painting” are you experimenting with? How do you define “light painting”?

    • Thanks David. This was *very* different for me!!!! That’s a real thing, or maybe “process” would be a better term. I made the overall image darker in LR, but that’s about it; the exposure was long, and as you can probably tell, in the middle of town. As such, lots of ambient light and I thought it was too bright….. Otherwise, that’s right out of the camera.

      I have been painting with light for the past year or so, experimenting with using the light as a paintbrush on either canyon features or old structures. I’ve used a lantern for the light source as well as a good ole flashlight. Basically going out after dark and lots and lots of trial and error. Typically, the stuff I light paint keeps that “real” look. Can’t say that’s the case with this one!!

  3. That is so cool!! Looks very ethereal. Excellent choice of orb color and background lighting.

  4. As always a lovely display of colors. And great point about stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. 😉

    • I have to make myself do that from time to time as I don’t want to forget why I’m doing this in the first place!! There’s always new things to learn.

  5. Really cool image. I’m curious, too, as to how it was done.

  6. Very cool! And a spectacular result!
    Looks like a great way to burn a few calories, too!

  7. Love this – looks like a fun group photo activity!

  8. Mate thats sweet I love it very cool cheers Adrian

  9. Ah, that is pretty cool, Derrick. I haven’t seen one like this before.


  10. i thought you photographed a light installation, but it’s an actual light show. how clever!

  11. fascinating and beautiful!

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