This is probably nothing new to anyone, but……its a shot I like and Im sharing how i did it.
With an extended exposure or with light painting in general its best MOST of the time to use a tripod……which i did.
I broke open a glow-stick, and put as much of the material as i could into a mason jar and then capped it. I shook up the contents to try and get the ‘splash’ effect. Be careful that you dont actually get too much material on the sides of the jar because it will do nothing more than just coat the sides (as you can see near the bottom of the jar). Its still neat, but it kind of diminishes the effect.
I shot this on the edge of my desk, and to setup the shot – i would position my elbows in the same place every time, and i even put little ‘markers’ there to remember the exact spot every time. I know that there was no way i was going to hold that jar still – (i tried) so i turned a 24-70mm lens onto its hood, and then set the jar on the end cap – it was the perfect height.
I took several snaps to make sure i had the composition right before i put the material in the jar and shut off the lights.
Camera Settings: f/2.8 @ 2s ISO 100.
The best part is the only thing i had to do was sharpen……
I had originally posted this in a digital photography school forum – but I thought that anyone visiting the thread might not be able to see the images if they weren’t registered as a user. As such, i just duplicated the post here.
In the thread, i was asked the following: “Spent around 2 hours with this… how did you get your eyes so clearly ?”
My response followed as this:
…… yeah, its tough let me tell you. I had at least 20 shots before i found a good one. Here’s the deal – stationary objects are obviously not going to move so shutter speed there isnt a big deal – but when you try to put a human element in there (such as yourself) you gotta know you wont stay still for very long – at least i didnt. that one shot was the ONLY one where i was still enough to get a fairly sharp image. So…. given that – you’ll have to set your shutter speed to be fairly quick. Mine was 2 seconds. The flip side of that now is that you’ll require a very large aperture – and thus you’ll obviously create a very shallow depth of field.
To achieve my results – i made sure that i knew exactly where my focal plane was (about the front or side of the jar and i made sure that i got very close to it. Given this, if i looked directly at the jar (as the effect was setup to look like) i would be looking almost sideways. So to compensate, i had to practice looking actually PAST the jar.
So ultimately, i was close to the jar – i was roughly even with the focal plane and i actually looked past the jar (somewhere between the jar and where the camera was). I used a relatively fast shutter speed and tried to stay as still as possible. I hope this helps.