Playing with Light

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I am constantly inspired by my creative friends and totally dig the work they do and more importantly hearing how they do it. My buddy Levi has been doing some cool stuff with a projector and dragging the shutter and my buddy Domonic posted a few pics on his instagram of a shoot he did for the artist Neak. Both shots peaked my interest and I wanted play with the concepts they used and see what I could come up with. 

 Photo by Levi Arnold | Mojag Creative

Photo by Levi Arnold | Mojag Creative

 Photo by Domonic Edwards | Domi5th

Photo by Domonic Edwards | Domi5th

I am also a big fan of Nick Fancher and his #studioanywhere philosophy. He creates light out of any situation and completely changes the game when it comes to on-the-fly and diy lighting. 

I got a LED flashlight for Christmas (and so did the kids) and they were super bright so I decided to use them as my light sources. I knew I could set them up easily and that they would throw some nice clean light on the subject. I didn't have any gels, but I had clear plastic CD cases that were all different colors. They worked out pretty well.   

A little duct tape always does the trick. I experimented with a couple different colors like red, green and purple. Some worked and looked good some didn't. I had to double over the CD cases to give them a stronger color but I also lost a little bit of power from the flashlights. I also set up a third light as a kicker/hair light and also used it to carve out our face, in-between the colored light. We pressed on and used my scarf to get the lighting down I moved around the lights to see how the light was falling.

After I got the position of the lights down, I just started shooting and moving my position within in the lit area.  After setting up the timer and waiting for the shutter to go off, I decided to ask my son to "help a brotha out". I took a few of him and he took a few of me and it was a lot of fun.

After we shot with these lights for awhile we switched it up and changed the color to orange and green. I also slowed down the shutter and closed up my aperture (f 6.3 at 2 sec.) and we started to play with some subtle movements from side to side. The results were fun and each click of the shutter gave us something new. It was fun to play around and experiment. 

I highly recommend playing around with some lighting set ups and don't be afraid to make shit up. For me, thats part of learning. You have to actually do it to know how light works and what it looks like in the end. Thanks to my friends for inspiring me and for my son Greyson for helping me out.


Joseph Gonzalez is a creative in Northwest Indiana. He specializes in design, branding and photography. He is a father of three hilarious kids and a husband to a wonderful wife. To learn more about Joe and his work visit his portfolio and the rest of this site. 
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