Some people bring out Elf on the Shelf during Christmas season, in our house it’s Rainius Maximus. He’s nothing like Elf on the Shelf – he does not watch over the kiddos and then report back whether they have been naughty or nice, he’s quite the opposite. If anything, he is there for the kids to confide in him and he never reveals anybody’s secrets.
He is actually fairly new to us, new as in less than a day new, but I’ve wanted to have him in our house ever since I was looking around for props for our Christmas card. I couldn’t purchase it then because he was too expensive, but now, at less than half its original price, I could no longer resist. On his first day in our household he got to be the test subject for my new maglite. I made a very rudimentary attempt at light painting with the maglite today. I didn’t even use a tripod, instead I propped the camera up on a book on top of an ottoman and the room was far from dark, although the ambient light wasn’t really bright either. It was fun and it made me really want to try this on a person in a real studio setting. It’s kind of fascinating that with that one little light you can get a perfectly well lit subject from whatever angle you want. For example, instead of having to use a two light set-up or a light and a reflector to eliminate shadows you may not want – such as the shadows you get under a person’s chin when you have your main light slightly above and pointing downward – you just shine the maglite from below for a brief moment and then move on to get the amount of light you wish on other parts of your subject and from any angle you wish. Pretty awesome, isn’t it?
On this photo I pointed the light upwards from floor level for a moment after pushing the shutter and then moved it upwards and pointed it down on the face and finally went across the Christmas tree first very slowly and then quickly until it dropped out of the frame.
(85mm, ISO 50, f/11, 4.0 sec + maglite)
And here is one of my very first shots out of the about 20 that I took. I didn’t move the maglite around methodologically yet so I can’t tell exactly what I did but I’m posting this photo mostly because I like how perfectly ghost-like my younger daughter appears here while reaching for Mr. Maximus.
(85mm, ISO 100, f/4.0, 2.5 sec + maglite)