The Light Painting Vlog #39 – Doing a Wool Spin in a Canoe

Whenever you have an opportunity to hang out with great people in a great place with great food, TAKE IT!

Stan and Andrea invited Jackie and I (Dan) out to Solberg Lake (Wisconsin) for a weekend on the water! Naturally once night hit, we took a canoe out under the stars with a little bit of steel wool.

The most amazing thing about the trip other than the people and food was the calm clear nights. The milky way was bright and the lake was as smooth as glass. At one point we took a couple canoes across the lake to the local bar for a drink under the milky way. That is a memory that will stick with me forever.

I think that is really what light painting is all about for me. Light painting as a technique is great, but more important is the experiences that come along with taking a camera out in the dark and being very present in your surroundings. Every time I go out and make a light painting, there is an adventure attached to it. When others are involved within that adventure, it is amplified.

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The real challenge to creating these images was to enable the canoe to hold still for a 37 second exposure. We started with a single anchor off the back of the canoe but found that the boat would slowly swing around as the shutter collected light. I headed to the shed and found an old Axe that would become a makeshift anchor for the front of the canoe. After tying it up and sending Stan and Andrea back out into the darkness, they dropped the anchors and I opened the shutter as Jackie filmed the event for the vlog. Stan triggered an off camera flash with his toes to illuminate the inside of the boat, while Andrea turned on a flashlight pointed towards the skies. The stars softly filled the frame and our first successful image was created!

Technical Details

Camera: Canon 5d MarkIII

Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Focal Length: 17 mm

Shutter Speed: 37s

F Number: 4

ISO: 1250

 

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We had some sparklers with us, so Stan and Andrea both waved their wands in the air like they just don’t care creating this wicked image.

Technical Details

Camera: Canon 5d MarkIII

Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Focal Length: 17 mm

Shutter Speed: 30s

F Number: 5.6

ISO: 1250

 

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After we fooled around with settings and composition, Stan broke out the steel wool. I clicked open the shutter, yelled to Stan, and he lit up the wool while Andrea gave a peace sign. Stan spun the wool over his head like a lasso and rained sparks down on the lake from above.

Technical Details

Camera: Canon 5d MarkIII

Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Focal Length: 17 mm

Shutter Speed: 32s

F Number: 5.6

ISO: 1250

 

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This is my favorite image from the night. Andrea held her paddle above her head as she was silhouetted by Stan’s wool spin under the stars. I let the shutter remain open for 50 seconds to let in the star power. What a way to cap off a great Light Painting experience!

Technical Details

Camera: Canon 5d MarkIII

Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Focal Length: 17 mm

Shutter Speed: 50s

F Number: 5.6

ISO: 1250

Afterwards we all headed back to the campfire for some more s’mores (haha “some more s’mores”) while Tuna nestled at our feet in front of the warm fire.

 

BTW – Check out Stan’s work here. He is an amazing woodcut artist and photographer that deserves a look.

 

Author- Dan McCreight