New Forest V

New Forest – Light on Dark

Just back from a quick trip to the New Forest In Hampshire where I was trying my hand at light painting. I have been wanting to try light painting for some time and after a bit of research it seemed like the New forest would be a good place to experiment. Just getting to my location carrying 38kg of kit – on my own – was a feat! After some exposure tests, all the shots were pretty much first takes from ideas I’d formulated before. Shooting in the forest at midnight was an eerie experience, quite often I would hear twigs snapping as animals moved around, or turn around to see two green eyes staring at me, only to realise it was a New Forest pony!

More info as promised….

I used various pieces of lighting on the shoot including: Nikon SB900 flash units, LED Lenser P14 torch, and a fluorescent strip light which was powered by a portable (13kg!) battery with a normal 3 pin socket. The flash units were used to light the tops of the trees and give some detail to the foliage, but on 200 asa the tree canopy needed at least 6 full power bursts to illuminate anything! I was shocked at how much power was needed!

The tree trunks were lit with the torch which at 200 lumens (powerful for a torch – think car headlight brightness, but with the ability to focus the beam) was easily up to the job. My estimate of two scans up and down the tree was just about perfect exposure.The strip light was trickier to deal with as it necessitated tripping the shutter with the tube out of view, then walking a planned route across the view, then turning it off and returning to close the shutter!

I have to say I was quite lucky with the results, as all exposures pretty much came out correctly first time. or maybe that was just skill ;-) still it was all great fun apart from the Blair Witch moments when animals kept creeping around and scaring me!

If you would like any more information just leave a comment below.