Photographing a Glowing Orb Take One

Photographing a Glowing Orb Take One

Light Painting Take 1
Camera Settings: ISO 100 | f/4 | 189 seconds

I didn’t go out to make a master piece on this shot because it’s my first attempt at the glowing orb. I figured if I got the orb right I would come back out and work on the other aspects of the photo on my next shoot. Because of this when setting up this photo I was more concerned with learning how to do the orb more than anything else so I only brought along one lens. This meant the camera and tripod had to be on the dock which caused some extra motion in the stars. So it wasn’t perfect on my first attempt and I didn’t actually thing it would be. I am happy I got a fairly good orb though. Now that I know how to do the orb I will have to work on the other aspects I ignored and see if I can come up with a keeper.

Here is how I setup the shot. I first started out by creating my orb tool. To do this I took two PVC pipes. One I covered in black gaffer’s tape. This is the stationary one. The second pipe I attached to the black one with a bold so I could spin around the black one. I left enough room for the pipe to spin clear of the ground and accounted for the extra room of the flashlights and if I was in short grass. Since white PVC was a little warped I added a spacer so it wouldn’t knock against the black PVC pipe.

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I used lock washers to keep the bolt in place on the black one and to keep the spacer up against the white PVC pipe without putting too much pressure on it so it can still spin freely. Note you should try to attach your white pipe in the middle so it is well balanced.

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I then attached two flashlights one green and one blue to the ends of the white PVC pipe. Color is a preference, you could do just white flashlights.

The next thing you do is to take the picture. Here is how:
Put your camera on a tripod. I chose to use an f-stop of 4 and ISO 100 so it would still be dark with how long I was going to take the photo but because my flashlights weren’t very bright I wanted my f-stop fairly open. I needed a remote because I needed more time than 30 seconds so I set my camera in bulb mode opened the shutter and walked out to my orb tool. I then placed the longer portion of the black pipe on the ground. The black one stays stationary and I held it vertically. I then turn on the flashlights on and spin the white pipe. As I slowly spun (speed depends on the brightness of your flashlights) the white pipe I rotated the whole contraption in 360 degrees by starting by facing the camera and than facing away and back again. I then used my remote to close the shutter. Full time was about 190 seconds. That was it.

Things to do different next time:
– Place the camera on ground and use a longer zoom to get the shot on the dock so that I don’t get camera shake from the dock moving and find a more interesting location. Maybe not put the glob in the center of the image.

Update – Here is the photo I did next time:

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