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Light Painting Illuminates Advanced Photography Students

Light painting at Bellevue Mansion

Students in the TEC 300 Advanced Photography class create photographs through light painting, a technique where photographers use a series of long exposures using a tripod.

High powered flashlights and strobes are used to illuminate sections of the subject. Select images are then merged together using a Photoshop function.

“It allows students to create dramatic images when they are taking pictures at night,” says Susan L. Gregg, Chair of Design Programs in the College of Technology.

The class is taught by photographer Tim Shaffer, who led students on evening excursions to photograph the Cauffiel and Bellevue mansions in Bellevue State Park. Students worked together on these projects, then created their own unique light-painted images using the knowledge gained from class.

“Painting with Light is the capstone assignment for the advanced photography class. It expands on knowledge learned in the basic and intermediate photo classes,” says Tim Shaffer.

As students get deeper into the program, challenges are more intense. Several students continue to do this type of photography and share their pictures on Instagram and other social media sites.

Chris Vitale, a student in the class, is building an impressive portfolio of classic cars and trucks photographed using light painting. He says the Advanced Photography course will test even the most experienced photographer.

“The painting with light portion of the course, was the most impactful to me,” he says. “This technique not only fine-tuned my knowledge of camera capabilities, it opened up a whole new world of photography for me. The true detail of a classic car is what makes it unique, and painting with light allows those exact details to stand out. Leaving viewers wondering and questioning how the lighting in the picture was captured is what strives me to continue this type of photography.”

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