Indoor Light Painting

Indoor Light Painting

Taking Photos in the Dark with Indoor Light Painting

Light painting is probably one of the coolest, easiest, and hardest ways to explore how photography works with light. This is especially true when experimenting with indoor light painting.

Learning the Light Painting Basics

Indoor Light Painting

The basics of indoor light painting are fairly simple. Firstly, find something cool you want to take picture of. Secondly, place that cool thing in a dark place, possibly a bathroom or another room with no light. Thirdly, use a flashlight (or another direct form of light) to “paint” the parts of the picture you would want to see. Boom! You’re light painting! Although at the end of the day it is much more simple than that, it is also much more complicated.

Indoor Light Painting
What makes light painting more complicated is learning the ins and outs of manipulating light. How long do I need to have my shutter open? How long do I have my flashlight on? How do I work with both of these to create a balanced and well-exposed light painting? This is what makes indoor light painting so hard! It is truly a challenge and process. Pure trial, error, and learning!

Light Painting Ideas to Try! Fun with Lighting!

Indoor Light Painting

Once you get the hang of the basics with light painting, you can experiment with lots of different things! I the photo above, this used a penlight flashlight. Although we used light to paint the different columns of the elf house and illuminate the photo. We then used the more direct penlight to illuminate the windows to make it looks like the lights are on inside.

Indoor Light Painting
Another thing to experiment with when doing indoor light painting would be light trails. Light trails are the streaks of light that appear when the light source (typically the flashlight) shines light directly into the camera as opposed to shining light onto the subject. Although these light trails are extremely aggravating when it comes to indoor light painting, but purposely incorporating them into your photography can create unique and different light paintings.

Now that you know how to do indoor light painting, find something cool and hop to it!

If you want to learn more, you can check out WEX Photo and Videos article about indoor light painting!

If you want to take your light painting skills to the outdoors, you can check out my article on Outdoor Long Exposure Photography!

Outdoor Long Exposure Photography

Outdoor Long Exposure Photography

Outdoor Long Exposure Photography Ideas

Exposure is a cool creative option to explore when wanting to take your photography to the next level. With outdoor long exposure photography, there are lots of different options and ideas to try. Whether you like landscape or something else, there is something for you!

Outdoor Long Exposure Photography

Lightpainting

There are a few different options when it comes to light painting. Both involve using light to “paint” parts of the photograph. This can be done with colored light tubes. For example, a glow stick. Or it can be done with a flashlight.

Outdoor Long Exposure Photography

The 2 photos above are examples of outdoor long exposure photography with a light stick. In this case, we were in the middle of a street (look both ways kids) and the shutter speed was between 20-30 seconds. YES! 20-30 SECONDS! We’re talking long exposure. Then, when the shutter was open, the person behind holding the light stick moved with the light stick in front of them to make cool swirls and lines that blur together. As with all outdoor long exposure photography, keeping the light between the camera and the light holder is incredibly important. If the light is ever behind whoever is holding the light, the light holder will appear in the photos. If done correctly, the light holder will not appear in any part of the photograph.

The photo above is a different kind of light painting that uses a flashlight instead of a flashlight as opposed to a light tube or glow stick. With this option for outdoor long exposure photography, we were in the middle of a random field with lots of old potential abandoned cars. These are excellent subjects because those sick rides weren’t going anywhere soon. When trying to capture a still subject in outdoor long exposure photography, it is important that the subject is perfectly still. Perfectly. (Spoiler alert: We’ll talk about this more when we get to Astro.)

For this specific photo, I happened to merge a few different light paintings together. Although you don’t have to do this, keep in mind that you are in fact outdoors with outdoor long exposure photography. And the great outdoors couldn’t care less if you’re trying to get the perfect photo. In this case, I had a favorite part from each photo I took and I wanted to piece them all together. Each photo started by setting the scene. In this case, I moved the bike in front for a cooler shot although the truck by itself was pretty awesome. I hit the button, opened the shutter for 15-30 seconds, and then ran around like a madwoman “painting light” with a flashlight on the parts that I wanted to show up. Maybe I wanted the headlights to show up a little more so I would hold the flashlight there longer. Maybe I wanted to see this part of the truck but just barely. Quick swoop, a swipe of the flashlight. If my scene is the canvas, then my flashlight is the paintbrush.

Astrophotography

Astrophotography is perhaps the coolest opportunity one has when it comes to outdoor long exposure photography. Astrophotography works to capture the stars! It makes for beautiful photography and a hard challenge.

Outdoor Long Exposure Photography

Astrophotography works best when there is absolutely no light. The only light is the stars. The exception to this is possible lightly light painting foreground objects. You can see that done here, very lightly, on the trees. Once there is no light, you have to work with the light for the right exposure. How much light is too much light and how long is too long for a shutter speed? If your shutter is open too long you’ll start to get light trails across the sky from the stars moving. Not long enough, and you won’t have enough light to work with to even see the stars.

Once you have figured out the light, it will be the biggest challenge to make sure you are in focus. The biggest pitfall of outdoor long exposure photography is forgetting to focus. That often means shining a flashlight before taking your shot to make sure you are focused. But! You can’t shine a flashlight at the stars. It just doesn’t work. So here is the trick. Focus on an object 30 feet away and lock your focus. Don’t change a thing. Don’t bump it too much. That is the secret to in-focus stars.

Now that you know more about outdoor long exposure photography, what are you going to try? Let me know in the comments below!

You can also check out this article from Expert Photography to learn more!

If you want to take your long exposure photography indoors, check out my article on indoor light painting!

Flat Lay Bread Photography

Flat Lay Bread Photography

Choosing and Prepping Flat Lay Bread Photography for Printing

I think that one of the greatest joys of a photographer can be physically sharing their work with others. That being said, deciding what to print and how to print it and how to prep it can be a daunting task. Below are a few steps I took in printing my flat lay bread photography.

Flat Lay Bread Photography
Working with flat lay bread photography is one of my favorites. I love to bake bread, I love to photograph bread, I love to eat bread. Flat lay bread photography begins well before you take the photo. Notice I call this flat lay bread photography but there are lots of other things here besides the bread! Think of the bread as your main character and the other pieces like the knife, herbs, shaker, and meat as your supporting characters. It is boring without them!
Flat Lay Bread Photography
When deciding to print there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that it can take some trial and error. Things don’t typically print how they look on screen so know that you may want a test print or to ask your printer for tips. Some things to keep in mind might be over sharpening, over lightening, adding a little extra contrast, and checking your colors.

Want to learn more about flat lay photography? Check out this link here!

Happy printing!

Designing for your Brand

Designing for your Brand

Designing your Branding as a New Professional

Introducing the Noelle Bertuccini Creative Brand! Creating your own brand and designing your branding, especially as a photographer, can be challenging! Here are a few tips on where to start!

Finding the Extraordinary Shot in the Ordinary

Finding the Extraordinary Shot in the Ordinary

Sometimes it is in the most ordinary spots that we can take the most extraordinary shot.

I often find myself walking down the street looking for photo opportunities. My photographer brain often says “that’s a cool backdrop” or “I like that environment for XYZ photo”. I often find lovely shots this way, but what if I a missing the cooler, better shot. These photos were a challenge to make the ordinary extraordinary; extraordinary meaning way more freaking cool than you would have thought.

Extraordinary Shots

I love looking for extraordinary shots in the ordinary. Sometimes, I can feel a little stuck as a photographer. If you don’t have the chance to do something creative, it can feel like you are just going in circles. Giving yourself little challenges to make yourself grow as a photographer and use your creativity can be just the thing to keep things fun! It is a great way to challenge yourself to be a better photographer than you were the day before!

Below are the set up shots!

Just remember! An extraordinary shot can come from an ordinary anywhere! You just have to be a little bit creative! If you want to learn more about extraordinary shots, check out this article from Douglas Phan!

Want to work on your creative photography even more? Check out my post on Faking a Black Background!

Here’s to becoming the best photographers we can be!

Faking a Black Background

Faking a Black Background

Creating the professional looking black background without a backdrop.

It is no secret that black backgrounds look sleek and professional. It can be hard for something to not look amazing when it is paired with a crisp, clean blanket of black. But what if you don’t have a professional black backdrop? Have no fear! faking a black background is easier than you think!

Faking a Black Background

When? Where? and Why?

The benefits and uses of a studio quality invisible black background (SQIBB) are endless!! Whether it is for portraits or products or anything else, it is a great way to look professional and also just get the cool “vibe”.

To me, one of the greatest benefits of SQIBB is that it can be done anywhere. If you make sure to always throw your flash and snoot into your camera bag then you’ll be able to fake a black background anywhere.

Faking a Black Background

The Basics

When creating your SQIBB, you are going to need a few things besides your camera. The first is an external flash with a trigger. The second is something to create a snoot. A snoot is basically a funnel for your external flash. I recommend using a Rogue Flashbender. It is essentially a softbox for your external flash and works really well as a snoot! I’ve liked one below if you have never heard of one.

Rogue Flash Bender: https://amzn.to/3DWy0Vj

External Flash: https://amzn.to/3jeWiSr

A large part of making this work is going to be your settings. You need to let in enough light to light your subject but keep your background dark. I would recommend an ISO 100; shutter speed 1/250 (you’re limited with your external flash); And between f/8-f/22. It will be dependant on whether you are inside or outside. In general, if you need to change your exposure, only change your f-stop.

Faking a Black Background

When in doubt… use a black sheet.

Sometimes, even when you used a flash bender to make a snoot and funnel the light of the flash it isn’t 100% enough to have that background. When in doubt, throw a black sheet behind it. Like this one linked below!

Black Sheet: https://amzn.to/2XwYgGq

You may be wondering why you didn’t just do that in the first place. The truth is that without that funnel of light, you are light the entire area. This means that you can see the grain and fibers in the fabric of the sheet. This doesn’t provide a crisp and clean black background. Even though a black sheet is a black background, you are still faking a black background that professionals with a studio would use.

Faking a Black Background

Get out there and SQIBB!

Now you know how to fake a black background! This can be used practically anytime and anywhere! If you want to learn more about faking a black backdrop, check out this article from Photo Correct!

Want to learn more about photography? Check out this article on phone photography!

Phone Photography for Beginners

Phone Photography for Beginners

Phone Photography for Beginners – Making the most of your pocket technology for all occasions

We all have phones. And all out phones have cameras. Sometimes it can be tricky to use these pocket technology devices to take anything more than selfies. Here is a little bit about Phone Photography for Beginners to take your photos to the next level.

Phone Photography for Beginners
Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.

Phone Photography for Beginners: Tip One

Use your environment! Often times when we are out and find the need to take a picture, there is something in our environment that can be used to enhance our photos. Whether it is a tree or building for framing, or like in this case, a puddle to help create a reflection. When in doubt, give it a shot! It could make things look really cool!

Phone Photography for Beginners
Panorama at sunset in Yellowstone National Park.

Phone Photography for Beginners: Tip Two

*Text*

Phone Photography for Beginners
Mini Waterfall in Yellowstone National Park With Long Exposure
Phone Photography for Beginners
Mini Waterfall in Yellowstone National Park Without Long Exposure

Phone Photography for Beginners: Tip 3

*Text*

Phone Photography for Beginners
Portrait of Kaylee in portrait mode
Phone Photography for Beginners
Portrait of Kaylee not in portrait mode

Phone Photography for Beginners: Tip 4

*Text*

Phone Photography for Beginners
Flowers and picnic basket with lens compression
Phone Photography for Beginners
Flowers and picnic basket without lens compression

Phone Photography for Beginners: Tip 4

*Text*

Check out more photography tips here!

Creating a Movie Poster

When deciding what movie poster to use, I took a lot of time to try and decide which movie I wanted to take inspiration from. After looking at a variety of poster options, I decided to choose to take my inspiration from a movie with a dog as an important character. If you know me, you know that I am obsessed with food, photography, and my dog. My dog is obsessed with me and food but couldn’t care less about photography. This includes being a model. Although, she does seem to support editing because she likes to sit at my feet.

After choosing The Courage of Lassie with Elizabeth Taylor for my inspiration, I set to work setting the seen. I pulled out and older fashioned blue dress that I had used in a pioneer reenactment. Although it wasn’t the most perfect dress it worked pretty well and I was a little excited that I still fit in it. The next trip was bribing Raya. I had to use many, many carrots to try to get her to model with me. And yes, carrots are her favorite treat. The vet says she is fine just weird.

What originally started as a self portrait turned into me setting everything up and my husband pressing the button. I greatly underestimated how hard it would be to convince Raya to model for me.

When we finished taking photos (because the model ran off and refused to cooperate), I was left with an SD card fully of blurry, moving dog. It soo some editing to try to make it look even remotely normal.

In the end I was able to edit the poster to look as it does below. If I were to repeat this I would change 2 things. 1, I wouldn’t try to get my dog to model. 2, I would work on making the edit look more vintage like the original.

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Indoor Light Painting

Taking Photos in the Dark with Indoor Light Painting Light painting is probably one of the coolest, easiest, and hardest ways to explore how photography works with light. This is especially true when experimenting with indoor light painting. Learning the Light...

Phone Photography for Beginners

Phone Photography for Beginners - Making the most of your pocket technology for all occasions We all have phones. And all out phones have cameras. Sometimes it can be tricky to use these pocket technology devices to take anything more than selfies. Here is a little...

Empty Venue Details

Empty Venue Details for when you do not want to see peoples faces

Finding the Extraordinary Shot in the Ordinary

Sometimes it is in the most ordinary spots that we can take the most extraordinary shot. I often find myself walking down the street looking for photo opportunities. My photographer brain often says "that's a cool backdrop" or "I like that environment for XYZ photo"....

Flat Lay Bread Photography

Choosing and Prepping Flat Lay Bread Photography for Printing I think that one of the greatest joys of a photographer can be physically sharing their work with others. That being said, deciding what to print and how to print it and how to prep it can be a daunting...

Outdoor Long Exposure Photography

Outdoor Long Exposure Photography Ideas Exposure is a cool creative option to explore when wanting to take your photography to the next level. With outdoor long exposure photography, there are lots of different options and ideas to try. Whether you like landscape or...

Female Studio Photography Tips

Learning to shoot in a studio with these Female Studio Photography Tips

Creating a Movie Poster

When deciding what movie poster to use, I took a lot of time to try and decide which movie I wanted to take inspiration from. After looking at a variety of poster options, I decided to choose to take my inspiration from a movie with a dog as an important character. If...

Faking a Black Background

Creating the professional looking black background without a backdrop. It is no secret that black backgrounds look sleek and professional. It can be hard for something to not look amazing when it is paired with a crisp, clean blanket of black. But what if you don't...