Time seems to be flying by at the moment for some reason, can’t believe how long it is since my last post. During the recent May day Bank Holiday Monday I made a trip to East Head in West Sussex with a fellow photog – he said he wanted to try something different after dark! Surprised Turned out to be a bit of light painting using wire wool.Ha Hasetup3I arrived a little later than intended and found that I had just missed a number of hot air balloon launches. Not best happy. It was a very still, mild evening and very little cloud so we wasn’t very hopeful for a decent sunset. To while away the time I wondered over to the dunes where the late evening light was beginning light the sand. Not the image I had in mind.dunesAs the sun was now rapidly dropping, I moved towards the shore and I decided to shoot along the shoreline rather than shooting directly into the sun which I dislike.eh2I quite like the pastels and smoothness of the left of the frame, which contrasts with the confusion of footprints on the right hand side being washed away with the incoming tide.


Two very similar images with very different wave patterns, looking down towards Stockers Lake which is a section of water within Chichester harbour. I wandered along the beach and watched as the waves started lapping at the walls of a small sandcastle which made for some interesting wave patterns.


For such a mild evening, and a public holiday one at that, it was surprisingly quiet, it was almost deserted by sunset. Our fears of a poor sunset were quickly dispelled by the distant clouds on the horizon, the clouds causing a bit of a haze and softened the hard light from the sun.

It’s amazing how therapeutic it is just watching the waves advancing and receding as the tide rises. It’s easy to shoot many dozens of images if not more. Because of the lack of wind the sea was very flat resulting in some very distinctive wave lines, there was also the bonus of zero spray. I think due to the atmospherics the light seemed to take an eternity to fade.

Amazingly after the sun set it seemed to get even more still. Below, a fellow photog making the best of the evening.


So calm and peaceful.
eh4The previous images shows the changing light.

As it was now getting rather dark we wanted to do some light painting whilst there was still colour in the sky, this was the first location and composition that we tried. We thought the colour on the horizon along with the would make a good backdrop.

setup This first attempt resulted in too little reflection due to lack of water on the sand as the tide was not very high.
This second one, which is a wider view is better but still too small, the light from the sparks was making the background appear a lot darker than it actually was.
We decided to try out a new composition by moving around 90° whilst staying at this location.
The light painting would take place in the left hand two thirds of the image leaving the brightness of the background to show through on the right.
Whilst Jake was doing the light painting I was operating the cameras which were side by side on tripods. The above image was my favourite of the session, I really liked the reflection in the water  and looked great on both of the cameras LCD’s. We then decided to experiment a bit more, some of the resulting images are shown below.
Selecting the right amount of wire to burn was tricky as was determining how much to move through the frame and at what speed. Conclusion was is that we need to use finer wire and have lots more practice. I enjoyed my baptism of fire with light painting – might look out for a LED version.