I was recently reading an article about capturing motion in a photograph by moving the camera with the subject to make the background blurry. Without reading much further, I grabbed my camera and tried to snap a couple photos of my 2 year old son, running around the living room with the Christmas tree lit up in the background. While the photo didn’t work out anywhere near how I expected, it did reveal something just as interesting. The lighting on the tree remained constant as long as the camera moved at the same speed. I started just shooting the tree and keeping the camera moving.
That got me thinking a bit more about just using a flashlight. I set up the camera with the self-timer and like that Star Wars Kid YouTube video, I just started waving the flashlight around like a lightsaber. At first it looked kind of cool, except for me, who looked all blurry… and like an idiot. That gave me another idea – what if I did that and turned off all the lights? I figured that I could set a longer exposure time and play around with different coloured glass in front of the flashlight.
So after about 20 minutes of trying out various shapes and patterns with the flashlight, I remembered that I can overlay multiple images and played around with different shapes and colours. I even took a self-portrait sitting on the couch, then turned off the lights and made some cool designs with the flashlight. Overlaying the two images worked pretty good for my first time, but not good enough to post. Maybe next time.