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Topic: A Trial in Light Stencil Photography (lots of pictures/info!)  (Read 687 times)
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« on: May 17, 2011 09:02:41 AM »

A while ago I got an itch to try my hand at various forms of light painting, and night photography.
This is reposted from my blog, because I wasn't a craftster fanatic quite yet at that point. enjoy and sorry if it's phrased too bloggy!

 I bought a tripod for my photo and video production needs-it's not a huge or super nice tripod, but it gets the job done alright.  This acquisition inspired me to try my hand at long exposure photography and light painting, both turned out to be a much steeper learning curve than I was expecting when I began.

I still haven't mastered the techniques, but my attempts have been fun and interesting enough. Tonight I found myself caught by a whim to try light stenciling. Inspired by the Subcarpati music video I really wanted to create a stop motion light stencil animation but, as I'd discovered previously with light painting, the process of making a light stencil image is a lot more time-consuming than I originally thought, and it's a much more ambitious project than I'd originally thought.
Luckily, every one of these sleep-depriving adventures helps me figure out how to master my camera just a little bit better, so the long hours are worth it.

I started on tonight's mission about 8pm when I started to get ideas about stop motion while watching that music video. I quickly wrapped Alicia up in my plan as lightbox holder. I then tried to coerce Jodi in to helping out too, but soon the ambitious nature of my plans were revealed and Jodi was off to bed. While Alicia decided what she wanted to feed our rumbling stomachs, I took a peek at the photoshop resources on deviantart and found a couple of good stencils to choose between for the night.

I got the template for the stencil printed out before Alicia finished making up her mind, and then it was time to break and get dinner or I was going to lose my hungry, not-so-enthusiastic lightbox holder. After some sickeningly loaded 7 eleven chili-dogs and a lo-carb rockstar or two, we were both refueled and ready to meander around Eugene for a few hours. We finally decided to shoot on campus, and  quickly realized that one decent light stencil image would be a good goal for the night.

Over the course of shooting we also realized a few flaws in our equipment and lightbox. Problems noted, we did our best with our very amateur status equipment, and I think we did okay for a first time.
To make the lightbox we used tape, tin foil, a shoe-box, saran wrap, cardboard, and my red bike light- pretty much what junk I could rummage up in my closet.

I carved the stencil out of the shoebox lid and covered the open area with saran wrap. I then took detail pieces of the silhouette and taped them to the saran wrap to finish the stencil.

After, I cut a hole in one of the side panels to shine the bike light through, and then lined the shoe-box with tin foil. Shut the box up, and it's basically done. We added handles, but our first lightbox was/is incredibly basic.

After the fact we realized we needed to make the box black, a taller tripod, and a real camera flash paired with colored cellophane instead of my bike light. Despite these difficulties, our free junk-stuff light box worked fine for the most part.

I'm really excited to try this again.

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