Advanced Techniques Class: Painting With Light

You may have seen some of my previous “painting with light” pictures that I did last semester (and this one too).

Well, lucky me, I actually get to do it for a grade this time in my Advanced Techniques class.  Along with my group members Chelsea, Elisa, and Darren (and Jason came along to help as well) we spent about three hours shooting this photo at the Old 63 Diner just north of Columbia. Since the diner is re opening in a few weeks, we thought it would also be newsworthy.

Our whole idea was to ghost a guy and a girl in front of the diner to make it sort of a nostalgic 50’s image.  We even rented 50’s style costumes to give it an authentic look (Chelsea is rockin’ the poodle skirt!!).  I played the greaser who pretended to be an overall badass who was too cool for Chelsea (who was clearly very interested in me).

Unfortunately, we picked a very hard building to light.  LOTS of metal and glass caused a lot of problems with reflections but we eventually worked it out.  There are still a few reflections that I wish we could have fixed, but I think it worked out pretty well.

The picture is really more of a choreographed dance than anything.  The exposure is 44 seconds long and it took 5 people to make the picture happen.  To give you an idea, once the shutter button was pressed, Chelsea and I had to pose and hold completely still while Darren flashed each side of us 3 times.  Jason held up an umbrella off to the side of the frame to block out reflections coming from a gas station across the street. When Darren was done flashing us, I had to immediately get up and take my LED light and light the tail lights of the car and the gas pump.  While I did this, Jason handed off the umbrella to Chelsea who then stood up on the car to block the clock (so it wouldn’t be overexposed). Elisa then shined two flashlights on the license plate, the trunk of the car and the bumper of the car.  In the meantime, Jason held up a big newspaper so he could continue to block the reflection of the lights  from the gas station.  When all of this was done, I had to run back to the camera on a tripod and close the shutter to complete the photo.

Confusing enought for you?….. I thought so.

Here is the completed image:

dsc_0248_edit_resizeThe Old 63 Diner, a once popular hangout in Columbia, MO, has been closed down for the last year because its original owners defaulted on their loans.  Decorated with memorabilia from the 50’s and 60’s, the diner has the atmosphere of the days past.  Julie Cook, a Columbia resident and one of the restaurant’s former waitresses,  purchased the diner from the bank and has plans to reopen it.  Renovations are currently underway and although there have been some delays, Cook hopes to reopen the diner in the coming weeks.


1 Response to “Advanced Techniques Class: Painting With Light”

  1. May 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Very very cool, all of your work definitely paid off. I like that you also made it newsworthy, as one day if you work for a paper almost all of your photos will need to be. Great teamwork and good execution. By the way, to answer your question on my last photo…hours man, hours….

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