Monday, December 19, 2011

Paint a Subject With torchlight.

Since is cold, and wet outside.  I have decided to stay indoor to do a little project that I want to share with you. This project took me about 10-15 min. to shoot, and $3.50 for the apples.
Equipment: Nikon D3 with 24-70mm f/2.8.

1. The first thing you need to do is to set up your camera securely on a tripod.  For this shot, I need my camera to point directly down, which was easy with the Manfrotto, as the center column can be horizontally with ease. Set manual exposure mode, and aperture of f/8 or f/11 for optimum sharpness and a starting exposure time of between four and eight seconds.

2. Compose the image using the viewfinder and focus on the subject.  Once you've focused, switch the lens from AF to manual focus, because when you switch off the room lights, you camera won't be able to focus in the dark.  So long as you don't zoom the lens or move the camera(or subject), the image should stay correctly focused.

3. Switch off the room light and get into position.  Press the shutter button and move the torch in random directions and angles to paint your subject with light.

4. By changing the angles from which you light the subject, and the amount of time you spend lighting different areas, you'll be able to produce very different results.  Experiment with fast random torch movements or more controlled paths of light.  You'll also find that a normal torch "Maglite" gives a warm, orange cast, while an LED torch gives a brighter and whiter effect, so try both!

Thanks for reading, and Good Luck!


  1. turned out beautifully! thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks Q . A well wrote tutorial with some neat tips. Perfect for a stay in day.

    Like that angle you used for the pic. The $3.50 was not wasted, you still have the apples to eat!

  3. What an excellent tutorial! Perfect for a rainy day project.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  4. Thanks for the tips. When I have some time I will have to try it out.

  5. Shouldn't this be an apple pie instead of just apples? LOL

    Thanks for the tips Q! It's an interesting technique and something I would not have thought about.

    Sooooo many things to try in a lifetime!


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