Painting with Light the Old Fashioned Way

Although I’m a total Photoshop convert and don’t see myself returning fully to the world of chemicals and little dark rooms, it is interesting to look back at what was done without the use of computers and the exhaustive range of technical software innovations on offer in 2015.

This picture was shot around 1995. At the time I was entranced with painting the light on the subject with various light sources and the random results that ensued.

This family portrait was lit by a simple household torch. When doing such pictures the exposures would be on average about thirty seconds during which time I would move around the subjects and paint them with light from the torch, the results were more often than not interesting,

not art,

but interesting.

However I only ever shot people I knew because I never found anybody who wanted to pay for such a weird portrait.

I’ve done this style of photograph often since then, but with digital the result is too immediate and it’s also so easy to reshoot and correct faults that the inherent mystery of making such pictures has become diluted to the point of extinction.

Bronica SQA, 80mm, Kodak Tri-X, 400asa


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