Light Painting and photography

Last night my kids and I did an experiment with photography using simple lights. As you will discover, the only limit is your imagination. Come on, join us and see what you can do right in your very own home!

What you will need:

  • A light source
  • A tripod
  • A camera with full manual controls [manual control of focus, ISO, shutter speed and aperture]
  • A darkened room
  • and a bit of imagination!

What we did:

Multiple exposure

Tripod, Shutter speed set to 1/30 f at widest, room darkened except for the single light source

Light Painting

We set the camera to M mode, set shutter speed to 10-15 seconds, aperture to f/16 to 18, adjusted focus to the plane where we were going to shine the lights, fixed it on a tripod, turned off the lights in the room, and started with our light painting/writing experiment!

And here are the results… J

Figure 1 F 5.3 1/30 sec 78 mm Multiple exposure

Figure 2 F/5.3 1/30 sec 78 mm

Figure 3 f/5.3 1/25 sec 78 mm Multiple exposure

We also tried to write our names using a small lamp. We do mirror writing, ofcourse.

Figure 4 f/18 Exposure 10 seconds, ISO-800 Focal length 18 mm

Figure 5 f/18 Exposure 10 seconds, ISO-800 Focal length 18 mm

Figure 6 f/18 Exposure 13 seconds, ISO-800 Focal length 18 mm

Figure 7 f/18 Exposure 10 seconds, ISO-800 Focal length 18 mm

Figure 8 f/18 Exposure 13 seconds, ISO-800 Focal length 18 mm

Figure 9 f/18 Exposure 13 seconds, ISO-800 Focal length 18 mm

Ofcourse these shots came after a little bit of practice and experimenting with shutter speed and aperture.

Here are some of our bloopers!

This was an attempt by Grace to write her name..

This was me trying to write my name in reverse!

Figure 10 f/18 Exposure 15 seconds, ISO-800 Focal length 18 mm

Do let me know how you found this experiment! Also do write in with your experiments in light painting. Have a great time ahead J

High Definition Videos

HD, Ultra High HD, what next? Are we running out of superlatives as we try to name the increase in our movie’s Video resolution? And are we even beginning to match the resolution of our eyes?

High Definition:

Those of us who remember the 1990’s and 2000’s will recall that for seeing home videos, DVD was the big thing, with the best resolution possible. DVD shows an image with 720X480.

As I write this article in 2013, 4k is the new big thing in display tech, and it’s coming to a big screen living room TV near you.

Today’s 1920 x 1080 resolution Full HD TVs present us with an image of around 2 megapixels, but this new generation of screens delivers an 8 megapixel image from hi-res cameras.

With new Ultra HD 4K TVs arriving this year from the big TV brands, it will soon become a format for both broadcast TV and Blu-ray.

What is 4K?

Technically speaking, 4K denotes a very specific display resolution of 4096 x 2160. This is the resolution of all 4K recordings, though many people use 4K to refer to any display resolution that has roughly 4000 horizontal pixels.

Ultra HD TVs have a resolution slightly lower than that – 3840 x 2160. That’s exactly four times higher than the full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080.

Many current movie cameras already film above 4K resolutions, for example the RED Epic which can film at a 5K resolution of 5120 x 2700 and the Sony F65 which films at 8192 x 4320 (8K).

This camera costs over Rs 11 Lakhs in Indian Rupees for recording 4 K videos, not counting the recurring costs.

High definition comes in two flavours: 720p (HD ready) and 1080p (Full HD), both of which offer more picture information than the standard definition formats. The more pixels that make up an image, the more detail you see – and the smoother the appearance of curved and diagonal lines. Ultra HD just takes that on to the next level.

A high pixel count also enables images to go larger before they break up, which suits the trend to bigger TVs. Ultra HD is already making big inroads into the world of digital cinema; almost all major Hollywood movies and TV shows are filmed in 4K – or even 5K.

What is Super Hi-Vision?

There’s another spanner in the works in the shape of Super Hi-Vision, an 8K format created by Japan’s national broadcaster NHK. It was trialled extensively at the London 2012 Olympics by the BBC, but doesn’t appear to have much chance of becoming a bona fide format just yet. It’s certainly one to watch; at double the frame rate of HD (at 120fps) and with a 7680 x 4320 pixel resolution (that’s around 32 megapixels), Super Hi-Vision demos have featured stunning 22.2 surround sound, too, thanks to twin subwoofers each the size of a small car.

Technically Super Hi-Vision also comes under the umbrella of the Ultra HD specification, which could store-up problems for future; how will anyone be able to explain the difference? Super-Ultra HD, anyone? Mega HD?

So you need very expensive cameras to capture these so called Ultra High def videos and images, and you need the proper display to see these Ultra High definition 4 K videos.

Now let us switch to Human Biology:

If the human eye was a digital camera, how many megapixels would it have?

Clarkvision does the calculations.

The answer: 576 megapixels.

Most current digital cameras have 5-20 megapixels, and the latest ‘Ultra High Definition’ goes upto 32 Megapixels.

We are still a long long way from matching our incredible human eye’s resolution. Of course the eye has many other differences from manmade cameras. That will be another topic altogether. For now let us concentrate on resolution.

How did the human eye get such an impressive resolution?

As I looked at the net, I was quite taken aback to see some sites that claimed that all this super high resolution machinery of the human eye just ‘evolved’. 

To me the human eye looks plainly to be a highly intelligent design! Who designed our eye?

Surely not random chance, as Evolutionists blindly believe? Could it be a mystical ‘Force’? Or possibly a Committee or pantheon of ‘gods’?

I mean, either one has to be extremely dumb or willfully self-deceiving to even think that our latest 4K cameras could just have evolved from the earlier generation of cameras.

Evolution theory is one of the greatest hoaxes shoved down the throats of our innocent kids in school under the garb of ‘science’ when it is not really science, and that too while these children are too young to even question it. .

The designer, at least to my mind, has to be one very intelligent personal being.

Who could even think of designing and bringing into existence our wonderful eye?

There is one who has claimed responsibility for designing my eye and yours.

The one who made my eye and yours says this: Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body. If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar.

Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky.
(Luke 11:35)

Photography workshop for Homeschoolers

How to use lights in Photography? What is Product photography? These and many other questions were answered for us by Radha and her mom, Supriya Raj Joshi, at the Photography workshop conducted by them at their home-cum-studio at Dadar on the 18th of August 2013.

Seventh Sense Studio Photography:

Radha started the session with a short video presentation by an expert and his demonstration of different photographs using different sources and angles of lights.





After this she did a step by step tutorial on lights, their importance, different types of lights available and the positions in which we can use them.


She also explained about aperture and shutter, two basic settings of any camera that give creative flexibility.

Mark holding the diffuser cum reflector

Radha showing the strobe light and flash

Supriya demonstrating the diffuser with LED box light.


After this we were shown the products, a wide variety of them, from which each participant chose three items to shoot, with accessories of their choice too.


Products to be shot…

Then we had a hands on demonstration on setting up a studio right there at her home!


The children were divided into two groups and timed as they unboxed the studio light stand, the light [strobe and flashlight] and umbrella cover. They were also shown a foldable diffuser, two types of reflectors and a black light absorber.

A stand was also assembled on which draping of the background was done.


Mark shot a portrait of me too!


My son Mark is very camera shy

Mark selected this product shoot


Each child then got a chance to set their product in the studio, experiment with different lighting, exposure and aperture settings, and click as many as they wanted. Then they had to choose one for each product for the final discussion.

This one is Mark’s own creation

After this there was a fashion shoot for which we had three exotic models with variety of designer dresses.

Shooting the models

These photographs were also displayed at the end of the shoot, amidst much amazement and joy J

Sumptous snacks, juices, dinner and icecream were also provided, since the program ended only at 1030 pm!

Thank you Supriya, her supportive husband Raj Joshi, and their kids Radha and Malvika for this unique and wonderful opportunity!

What the eye sees

A good camera is an essential tool to capture what your eye sees. And your eye can only see what your heart loves. So it all boils down to your heart, soul and spirit. Never thought of that, right? 🙂

I started photography rather late, when I was in my 20’s. I used the Fuji FinePix S 7000 series mainly for its ability to take photos and videos [640X480] in one handy package.  I enjoyed this prosumer camera for many years, till it stopped functioning after getting drenched at the Maid of the Mist.

Then I got a Finepix S2000 HD which had HD video recording too. The problem was its battery intensive zoom which used to drain 4 AA Ni MH cells in 2 days or less!  And also the fact that the picture quality was bad in low light.  That camera was stolen in an Environmental activism  related accident [more abt that later sometime].

After that I got my present camera in May 2010, a Nikon D 3000. I bought a Tamron 18-270 lens for it, and a Manfrotto tripod. I am extremely happy with this combo! It gives me the opportunity to faithfully capture what my eyes see. Ofcourse I cannot carry the tripod everywhere so usually steady my hands and use the Vibration control on the lens. Here is a photo taken at a museum recently.

Hand held low light Museum photography

Photography has given me a greater appreciation of the wonderful way our eyes capture the world around us, which seems so natural to us. Photographers have to really work hard to reproduce such effects especially in low light.

Thanks for reading! Keep shooting and learning.