Jul 242014
 

biblio pendant

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to interview a lighting entrepreneur from Asheville, NC. His lighting design start up, CaseStudy Design, has become locally popular for their unique light fixtures that are made out of … wait for it … books! If you’re as surprised as I was when I first learned about CaseStudy Design and its owner/founder/designer Chall Gray, who are engaged in the practice of upcycling old things like books into lovely light fixtures, then read on for an interesting interview with a book-lover turned lamp designer.

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Mar 132014
 

 

On a bright day in May 2006, J.R. Whitley attended his graduation ceremony at Appalachian State University. The person next to him, an English major, asked J.R. his major. When J.R. replied “Appropriate Technology,” the English major looked stunned. This anecdote is hilarious to me, because I was an English major, and, when J.R. said the words “appropriate technology” to me, I could only tentatively mmhmm because I had never heard of the field.

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Feb 202014
 

Part 1 of this blog series detailed some major problems with the lighting in my former teacher’s art gallery. I explained how the spotlights on the track weren’t adequately accenting the art work on the walls, and how the light bulbs in the hanging fixtures were washing the color out of the vintage furniture.

This week, the owner of Pegasus Lighting, Dr. Tom Farin, stopped by Paul’s art gallery to assess the situation in person and to offer some solutions. Remember how we were hopeful that different, more powerful fixtures could be placed in the track to limit costs? We weren’t even on the right “track.” Here’s how Dr. Tom set us straight.

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 Posted by on February 20, 2014 at 11:55 am
Jan 282014
 

Welcome to Amateur Hour, folks! A couple weeks ago, I conducted and shared an interview with Austin, TX photographer Matthew Danser about how he “paints with light.” At the end of that interview, I promised you, dear readers, that I would try to replicate Danser’s technique at home without professional equipment. It felt good to make that promise. Until the next day. Gulp.

Lightpainting, Painting with Light, Long Exposure

Imitating the pros. Trying to paint with light. Matthew Danser is going to kill me when he sees that I have massacred his beautiful photograph and created this emblem of the amateur imitating the professional. Danser’s work can be seen at www.matthewdanserphotography.com.

I have a great deal of interest in digital photography, but my life is as crazy as anyone else’s. My son, family, and work keep me busy from dawn to midnight every day. I’ve never had time to cultivate any photography skills, even though I’ve always been very interested, sitting on the edge of my seat, if you will, for a chance to take some digital photos in order to learn a little about how capturing light can create astonishing works of art.

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Jan 102014
 
Matthew Danser Photography Ghost Town Light Painting

via www.matthewdanserphotography.com

Recently I interviewed Austin, TX photographer Matthew Danser about some innovative ways he uses light in his digital photos.

For the photo shown to the right, taken at night in a Texas ghost town, Danser assembled the following items: a powerful, handheld LED light; his Canon 5D Mark iii camera and Canon 16-35 mm L lens (at 16mm); Canon 580ex 2 flash; a red gel (piece of red cellophane to color the light of the flash); a tripod; and his girlfriend’s finger (to graciously hold down the shutter release button because he forgot his bulb release at home!).

Danser told Pegasus: “So, I set my camera on bulb mode and had my girlfriend hold down the shutter release button for 13 minutes, while the camera was very sturdy on the tripod. The place was pitch black except for the stars and the moon (very little ambient light pollution in the desert). As my girlfriend was keeping the shutter open, I walked to one side of the structure and methodically shined my flashlight (rated at 2000 lumens, so it’s pretty bright) all along the exterior and front facade of the building. This lasted for about five minutes before I turned the flashlight off and ran to the other side of the building and ‘painted’ for another five minutes.”

Danser said that one of the important tricks of light painting is to show off the textures of the buildings by shining his LED flashlight at an angle instead of from the camera position.

After “painting” the sides of the building for five minutes each, he ran inside and popped off about 10 red-gelled flashes to create the effect of a warm glow pouring out of the building.

When asked how he was able to run in and out of the building without showing up in the photo, Danser simply replied that “The camera could not ‘see’ me because I was moving quickly, and there wasn’t enough ambient light to expose me in the picture.” While popping off the gelled flashes in the building, he always made sure he was not visible to the camera. Continue reading »

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