Karl Leck  

Light Painted Ice by Karl Leck

January 2021 - Light Painted Ice

January 2021 - Karl Leck


About the Image(s)

"Light Painted Ice" was made during last month's snow/ice storm. Icicles were hanging from everything. After photographing many tree branches I went to the rain barrel which had overflowed with ice coating it's sides. It was nice in monochrome but my light painting flashlights were calling. With the camera (Nikon D800 with Nikkor 105mm macro lens) mounted on a tripod and set on a 10 second self timer, I held a small flashlight with a yellow filter at one side and another flashlight with a red filter on the other. The blue is sky reflection. You can see that the ice refracted some of the colored light into lines/patterns on the rain barrel's black plastic surface. The image received a small contrast and saturation boost in Photoshop Elements. I did several light positions and chose a favorite. I like both the mono and color images but favor the color for its originality.

5 comments posted

Peter Newman   Peter Newman
Hi Karl, Your image looks like a fun image. All the work you did looks like a labor of love that paid off. When a step back a few feet, I see an interesting mélange of complimentary curves, and colors that are both complimentary and blended.
One of the things I like about abstracts is that they can be anything the viewer thinks they are. When I first looked at the original I thought it was an iced covered front bumper. I am not sure which version I would hang on my wall. I very much like both. I think both have interest and originality.   Posted: 01/13/2021 15:30:53

Lauren Heerschap   Lauren Heerschap
What a fun light painting project! I love the colors and shapes of the color image, and this is inspiring me to look at our rain barrel next time it freezes. So far we have had one small snowstorm and the power went out yesterday with a rainstorm,I live north of Seattle. Good job getting out those lights when they called!
  Posted: 01/14/2021 18:01:19

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
This is my favorite light painting EVER! The colors, textures, and shapes are wonderful. The great thing about abstracts is that one can study them for long periods of time and continuously see new shapes, relationships and meaning. I also love the monochrome. It has a sharp clarity that holds my eyes. I always have trouble getting ice into sharp focus. How did you do it? Live view? What were your camera settings? How did you process it to achieve that clarity. Seeing these images I almost look forward to our next ice, and I long to create. I would hang both versions on my walls.   Posted: 01/23/2021 17:54:34
Karl Leck   Karl Leck
Hi Judith, With eyes that are getting older, I rely on autofocus a lot. Good macro photography begins with deciding what you want in focus. In this case I tried to select a small enough portion of the rain barrel so it was almost flat and to align the lens axis to be perpendicular to the focus plane. This image was set up through the viewfinder. I rarely use live view on DSLR's because I don't like the daytime glare on the LCD. If I know a situation would benefit from live view, I use one of my Sony a6500 or RX10 cameras or the superlative Nikon Z7 where I see the actual sensor image through the viewfinder including the actual sharpness at stop down aperture. This image was shot at 1/6 sec at f/18 with the Nikon 105mm macro. Karl   Posted: 01/23/2021 21:23:38

Sandra Irwin   Sandra Irwin
What an original and creative image! I stand in awe of your knowing how to accomplish what you did. Very, very interesting and pretty!   Posted: 01/26/2021 15:50:23


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