Interchangeable Stencil Box

Have you ever heard about Stencils before?

There are some amazing artists, like Banksi, that create really sharp and smart art by using this technic. Why shouldn’t we also add it to our Light Photography tools and have some fun with it?

What is it?

Well, Stencil is a material into which you cut some letters or a design, so you can reproduce it on another surface. Normally you do it by applying a pigment, but you can also do it by shinning a light source through it.

Why should we use it?

This technic allows us to have a great amount of detail, like sharp letters, and to be able to quickly reproduce it. Imagine you want to have your logo or watermark on your photos. Instead of adding it in post-processing, with Stencils you can add it directly in the photo. Or maybe you want to add 20 Stars to your photo. From now on, you will have no more problems with that…

Applying the Stencil concept to Light Painting isn’t hard! It needs a little bit of preparation (hopefully this tutorial will help you with that) and some practice, but you’ll get some great results in no time.

The easiest way to do it is by buying (or building yourself – check below!) a Stencil Light Box, with a slot for interchangeable designs, if possible.

And that’s what I’ll now show you how to build.

LIGHTS FROM DREAMS’ INTERCHANGEABLE STENCIL BOX

Before you can start, you need to make sure that you have all you’ll need:

  • big piece of cardboard;
  • Utility knife;
  • Ruler;
  • Alufolie;
  • Glue and duck tape;
  • About 1 hour! =)
photo of interchangeable Stencil Box - Materials

Interchangeable Stencil Box – Materials

The idea behind it is to build a Light Box with a slot so we can use it with different designs. At one end you want to have your Light Source (we will use our speedlight flash gun) and on the other end you want a flat piece of light material that will work as your Light Output (we will use a A4 white piece of paper). After the Light Output we will create a slot where we can slide different designs to use with our Stencil Box.

Let’s get to it!

Continue reading

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TUTORIAL: PHOTO STACKING FOR LIGHT PAINTERS

Photo Stacking is a post-processing technic, which allows us to blend several shots together. It has some advantages, some disadvantages, it is seen by many photographers as a way to “cheat” your photos, but it can also be useful! …and creative!

When can it be useful?
Imagine that you want to do a lot of light painting – lets say you need a couple of minutes to do all your stuff – on a place with some ambient light. If you shoot it with a long exposure maybe you will get a blown-out photo from all that ambient light coming through your lens and if you shoot a shorter exposure maybe you won’t have time for all your light painting.
You can try to fiddle with your camera settings – and I advise you to – and maybe you will be able to find a good compromise, which will allow you to keep the ambient light dim while still having time for your Light Painting. This would be maybe the best solution. But, still, sometimes it doesn’t work, so Photo Stacking is a very useful technic to know!

How do you go about doing it?
The easiest way is to think in layers. Imagine that want to take a photo on a street with 4 Ball of Light. You will have 5 layers:

  • – ambient / background exposure;
  • – ball of light #1
  • – ball of light #2
  • – ball of light #3
  • – ball of light #4

Then you just need to go to the computer and blend them all together. And to explain you that part I thought it would be better to use an example.

The other day I went out with my friend Thomas to the forest to take some photos. For some creative reasons we decided to use photo stacking to make this photo:

Light Painting Photo by Luis Pato and Thomas Lange

Ghost, by Luis Pato and Thomas Lange

Lets see how we did it.

We discussed the idea and planned it out in layers like this: Continue reading

BASICS OF LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY

Here at LIGHTS FROM DREAMS, we are proud to present you with our first tutorial: The Basics of Long Exposure Photography.

If you have ever wondered how to achieve that dreamy feel of moving water or how to catch a star trail, here is a free guide that you can follow to learn more about this amazing technic that is Long Exposure Photography.

Tutorial about the basics of Long Exposure Photography

Basics of Long Exposure

You can also download the “Basics of Long Exposure” tutorial for free here:
BASICS OF LONG EXPOSURE

If you have any questions, doubts or suggestions, please write us a comment or send us an email and we will be more than happy to discuss it with you!
And, of course, we would love to see any photo that you may take after following this tutorial!

We would also like to thank the photographers who kindly allowed us to use their photos in this tutorial.