Photography Technique

Photographing holiday lights on Cape Cod

Painting with light, it is the very definition of the word photography, tracing the word’s roots back to the Greek term, phos meaning light and graphis meaning paintbrush.

Certainly every photograph exists because light reacted to a photosensitive surface, film or digital. How good the image is relies on how well the person behind the lens used that light, whether it was available or introduced.

Gary Guidi runs all 30,000 of his LED light setups from a computer with a program that can control each light and its color for the Cape Cod Children's Museum first annual Holiday Lights display in Mashpee. The drive-through event is open Friday and Saturday nights through the month and on Dec. 23.

If you do an internet search on “painting with light photography,” a wide variety of interesting imagery presents itself. The technique involves working in very low light with the camera on a tripod. A long time exposure is used, usually in the range of 5-10 minutes, giving the photographer or an assistant a chance to use a flashlight to make light drawings or simply feather the light around to the subject to create surreal looking imagery.

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