Posted Saturday, April 28, 2012
License: CC-BY-NC-SA (What does this mean?)


Long exposure of a corridor lit by carrying a torch in a swinging motion.


Seven Hills Tafe, Brisbane
General location: Australia, South-East Queensland

The Setup:

Alan Warren, AKA The Best Photographic Buddy A Guy Could Have, obtained permission to be on the property and access these abandoned buildings. A few things worked against me this time: I have broken my 18-55 lens, so no wide angle; plus Evelyn wouldn't sleep, so by the time I got there, everyone was packing up. Alan, Ollie and Sam very kindly came back in with me and Ollie did some more light painting, though without wide angle lens, I wasn't able to capture them effectively.

When the boys set off home, I stayed behind to set up some shots. This shot was of me walking down the hall, pointing the floor as I ambled along for about 45 seconds. The dark line on the left is a shadow created because I was carrying the torch in my right hand. For the last 15 seconds, I lit up the room at the end of the hall from the doorway, which also resulted in my silhouette.

The camera & lens:

Camera: Canon EOS 400D DIGITAL
Lens: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX-DC @ 30mm
Exposure: 60" @ f/8, ISO 100 (M, intervalometer)

Post processing:

Lightroom 4 -

  1. Presence: Exposure +1.7 stops, highlights +25, shadows -15, whites +35, blacks -40
  2. Graduated filter on the left side wall, so that the light drop-off matched the right side wall
  3. Spot adjustment filter on the right side roof to match the left side roof
  4. Colour temperature to minimum (2000)
  5. Noise reduction: Luminance +50

The wash-up:

I had a few ideas going in, but had not practiced them. There are a lot of things that I could have done differently. The first idea that didn't work out was to paint the walls with light, but I was doing this from behind the camera and my torch's beam is strong, but a too broad.

Things to try next time I find a long hall:

  • Actually walk up the hall and paint with the light from up close

  • Setting myself up in the middle of the frame and lighting my face with the torch, to create a floating spectre

I guess I can trial these in my back yard and shed to see the effect before I go on site next.

What would you do?

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