Rodney Campbell's Blog

Light Painting at Sculptures…

by on Feb.20, 2016, under Life, Photography

I wasn’t really planning on going to Sculptures By The Sea last year but at the very last minute (read 7PM on the very last day) I got a message from Gerry that he was doing some light painting and maybe some starry skies at Sculptures.

My eldest daughter had told me she was interested in going to see the sculptures so I invited her to join me and off we went to Marks Park at Bondi.

We arrived around 8:30PM and the sun had already set but the clouds had really moved in so it looked like stars were off the table. We made our way across to where Gerry was, over around near Tamarama beach. By the time we got there he was already shooting this particular sculpture. I joined him for the last two takes (the image below being the final take – my first test shot was woefully underexposed).



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 362 sec at f/5.6, ISO 160

Then we headed almost all the way back to Bondi beach checking out various sculptures on the way (in the dark – of course – the only way to see them :)). This one below shows a whale in a hand sticking up out of the rocks right on the ocean. It’s all made from chain link – like chain mail armour. It didn’t require much to light this one so processing was a breeze.

My Heart

My Heart

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 239 sec at f/5.6, ISO 160

Then it was back to the point at the end of Marks Park where we always go during sculptures. There’s this spot there right at the point of the cliff where there’s a circular lookout area. Each year during sculptures there’s usually something pretty interesting there and it’s in a really good spot to shoot with the clean ocean and horizon in the background.

The sculpture there this year was this curved semi circle wall of mirrors.

We decided first that we’d shoot if from the inside looking back towards the city. The light pollution from Bondi and the city was going to be a problem with the long exposures but we figured we’d give it a try.

Our first attempt at just over five (5) minutes at f/5.6 and ISO 160 was a bit overexposed so I opted for us to stop down a touch (f/6.3) and drop the ISO to 100 to kill the ambient just a little.



NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 290 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100

Note: These images (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

I covered the ground with the blue EL wire fire whilst Gerry added the green EL waterfalls and we both added various coloured torchlight to the mirrored sections. Finally Gerry added some white light to the top sections. The final result was a very colourful rendition of this sculpture. If you look closely you’ll also see that there’s a Gerry selfie there in the image, or at least a shadow of one :).

That complete it was time to shoot from the traditional side – the outside looking in to the east out to sea.

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