In downtown Caldwell, Idaho, there is an alley way that has a ton of character I feel. I had this idea to Light Paint a couple on a motorcycle in a more urban setting and I just happened to have the hook up for this.
Here is our original scene before the sun went down. I like to scout out before hand where I am going to light paint and try a few different angles and maybe perspective. Once the sun goes down, it’s much harder to get a good sense of what you’re looking at entirely (not to mention getting a sharp focus). We also practiced a few poses and thought of other possible ideas we could explore before we committed ourselves to light painting this scene.
Depending on your scene and how many times you want to try working with the light – the whole process can take a couple of hours or more. Of course all depending on what you’re going for. Light painting is very much an artistic side of photography because you are in complete control over how the final product turns out.
Here is the final product. There are a few different ways that you can light paint something. In this particular case where I had a street lamp behind them, I decided to light paint smaller segments with a shutter speed of about 15 seconds. Afterwards, I came back into Photoshop and merged the different images together.
The street lamp was helpful in the fact that I didn’t have to light paint as much for this scene, but it certainly did turn everything very yellow and brown. I don’t like that very much so I took the time to cool off the background and add more shadows to the background so that there was more of a focal point on the couple and bike.
Once I had the background where I wanted it, I cooled off the couple a little bit as well, but I wanted that warmer glow and light on them for the sake of contrast to the scene. Then, I used the contrast of highlights and shadows to help pull the viewer through the photo.
Finishing effects were done in Nik Software Color Efex: Glamour Glow, Contrast, Cross Processing, Vignette, etc.