Thursday, March 13, 2014

Light Painting at Blandy

Last Tuesday I drove out to what is probably one of the prettiest places to have a camera club. It's at the Virginia Arboretum. The property was once a farm, built around 1825, and the owner, Graham Blandy, bequeathed it to UVA. Set in over 700 acres, the old building was extended and the room we met in was lined from floor to ceiling with bookcases, heavy tomes on flowers and trees filling all the shelves. Tables were set up in the middle and the first thing I noticed was how friendly everyone was, a vast difference from the Winchester club that I'd visited a few weeks earlier. My new friend Janice was there too and we immediately partnered up to work on light painting photos which was our project this evening. It would have been lovely to do this outside but it was freezing with plenty of snow still on the ground and the temperatures well below zero.
I had brought all my lights and flashlights. Someone had brought a violin and backdrops and soon everyone was sharing and exchanging ideas. I'd rather hoped that someone would actually teach but it seemed we were all beginners so we bantered back and forth, playing with different lights. Janice and I found some glasses in the kitchen and someone had brought a half bottle of red wine which I eyed eagerly, but I soon forgot about that as we attempted to set up our ideas.
I stuck one of my lights on a blue setting behind the violin and shone an orange light on the front.
 We lit up the base of this with a red light and waved a green one around.
 I'd brought my kids light with me, a plastic light that swiveled in a multitude of colors when a button is held down. That was popular, especially when I told them it was only a couple of dollars.
 I stood and circled 2 colored lights in front of me, slowly turning.
This image is a combination of 4 layers. We lit the base, then the bowl of the glass in pink, then waved a flashlight around the glass, then added a colored background.
In the blink of an eye 2 hours had passed and the evening came to an end. This will be a club that I'll go to regularly. We meet once a month so next time, we'll show our images from the light painting and critique each other. And with the warmer evenings coming we'll be able to take the light painting outside or just use the beautiful grounds for projects. And the best part for me is that this club is only about 20 minutes away, such a joy to have something local and not have to drive for over an hour on a week day night. Roll on next meeting!

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