Painting With Light and Colored oil Photography

6 Jun

All photography copyright Bob Gersztyn


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  1. Painting with light.
  2. First find a pitch black dark area.
  3. A large room with no windows or with the windows blocked.
  4. Outside in an open field with no street lights.
  5. Some ideas may have to be executed under street lights.
  6. A variety of flashlights from mini to normal.
  7. Multi colored gels or filters, like red, yellow, Blue, Green, etc..
  8. Decide what to do and plan it out.
  9. You may want to use a model or even yourself.
  10. Choose your flashlight and place a colored gel in front of it or you can use multiple lights with different colors on each.
  11. Put your camera on a tripod and use your remote release if you have one.
  12. Use the bulb setting for shutter speed and keep the shutter open for as long as you need, like 45 or 90 seconds.
  13. Set ISO at 100 and the aperture at F/16 or smaller.
  14. Use a wide angle to telephoto zoom.
  15. If you use flash to light up a subject in the foreground reduce the output to ΒΌ or 1/2 and make sure that it’s on rear curtain synchronization.
  16. Listen to your favorite music to inspire you, when you execute your idea.


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  1. Oil & water creations.
  2. Use an oil soluble dye, that is transparent not opaque or translucent for best results.
  3. All you need is red, blue and yellow.
  4. Use mineral oil, glycerin or the cheapest clear oil that you can find.
  5. Use a clear glass pie dish, baking dish or 12” to 15” clock crystal.
  6. Dissolve the 3 colors in separate containers of mineral oil
  7. Fill the glass pie dish or other container with water and place it on a white background.
  8. In an open shaded area outside.
  9. Using a spoon or eye dropper add small amounts of colored oil to the water.
  10. You can hand hold the camera if you are steady and the shutter speed is 1/30 second or faster, otherwise use a copy stand or tripod and be careful not to cast a shadow.
  11. You want a small aperture, like F/16 or less and any ISO that works for you.
  12. Take photos as the colored oil goes through changes while it floats on the water.
  13. You can use a water soluble dye, but it will cost a little more money, since you have to fill the large container with oil.
  14. Everything is the same except you can use a standard pack of food coloring from Walmart or Winco for the water soluble dye or liquid water colors or artist dye.


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Email me if you have any questions:Β



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