From time to time we come across a light painting and just stare it wondering how the F@#! did they do that?!?! Break Down is a series if which I only ask the artist one question “How the F@#! did you make this” its up to the artist to tell as little or as much as they want. For this Light Painting Breakdown Tim Gamble talks us through how he and fellow light painter Chris Thompson created the above image titled “Insider”
So Tim how the F@#! did you make this?
I’ve been a massive fan of silhouettes within silhouettes since seeing awesome work from LED Eddie and Mart Barras. I had also seen some images from people on Instagram which whilst being pretty visually appealing they were created in F%?#ing Photoshop. I saw one which involved a hooded top being pulled open by the model to reveal something lurking inside. Always keen for a challenge I decided to give it a try in-camera as it’s always way more fun that way.
Firstly I needed a suitably dark and moody spot to shoot this in and I headed to my favorite lime kiln with Chris Thompson. This was the first outing with Chris T’s new softboxes and I knew the quality of light from them would work a treat for the first part of the exposure. We set one up on either side of me with a Yongnuo 560iv in each.
Next we worked out the best settings and light positioning to gain perfect exposure on the Parka. I had already worked out the best way to keep my face and torso from exposing and that was to wear my favorite black light painting hoodie back to front. Whilst looking incredibly strange it worked a treat. It was really important that no light fell on those areas so as to keep a blank canvas for the inner silhouette.
Once happy with that aspect we added another light directly behind me about 8 feet away. Another Yongnuo 560iv on full power @24mm gelled “Jaffa Cake” orange to add a slight separation light or rim light and to expose some of the stonework in the kiln. The final piece of the first part of the exposure was to add the laser which was stuck with gaffer tape to the top of the rim light. I filled the air with Vape from my e-cigarette and through trial and error nailed down how long the laser needed to expose correctly. Once happy we moved onto the second part of the exposure.
As I was with the net curtain waving champion of the world I knew that was the effect I wanted to create the fire for the silhouette. Orange gel on my led lenser P7.2 and the Light Painting Brushes Universal Connector as a snoot.
I stand still and Chris frantically wafts the net curtain up and down whilst lighting it with the gelled torch from behind me. We had to work out where I was to stand so I didn’t interfere with the first part of the exposure. The cherry on the cake was the flare from the middle of my chest. Once happy, markers were placed on the floor and it was time to put it all together in one go.
I turned live view on so Chris could position me in a central position, ensuring both of my hands stayed in the frame. I filled the kiln with vapor from my e-cigarette, pulled my black hoody over my face, turned on the laser, torch off and I fired the shutter.
Chris fired the soft boxes and rim light with the radio trigger and we let the laser burn in whilst I held still. 30 seconds of laser and Chris replaced the lens cap. I made my way to my second position and turned off the laser. Chris removed the lens cap and made his way behind me with the torch and the net curtains. After Chris had finished expertly waving them around for the flames he passed me the torch and I popped it on full power for less than a second for the flare held in the middle of my chest.
Shot on a Canon 650D, Tokina 11/16mm, 3 x Yongnuo 560iv flashguns, 2 x Photo-R 24” x 24” softboxes with stands, 1 x green laser pointer, vape from my e-cigarette (smoke bombs would do), 1 x Light Painting Brushes Universal Connector as a snoot and a Led Lenser P7.2.
Auto White Balance.
3 x Yongnuo 560iv’s full power @24mm.
A massive “big up” to Chris Thompson for his help in realizing this shot. Without him I’d still be there now. Cheers.
This is some freaking incredible work and thank you to Tim for sharing some of his secrets! Below are a few more stunners from Tim using a similar technique! Check out more of of Tim’s work HERE and you can find Chris right HERE.