Printable Acetate

The following video is only 5 seconds long, but it has been animated from fifty two individual photos. To capture each of those photos I used a long exposure photography technique called Light Painting. If you've never heard of Light Painting before please feel free to google it or to look through some of my older blog posts to find out a little more about the technique.

The idea came to me after I realised I had a few sheets of printable acetate lying around. I thought it would be interesting to try Light Painting around a design. I simply printed my pseudonym Lanesome onto the acetate before I started working with the camera and torches. The printed areas were semi-transparent so we can still make out the areas that I lit from the back. The acetate could be lit from the front or the back and I achieved some pretty different (and good) results by doing both.

As you might gather from the video, the acetate moved around a little during the process. I had it taped at the sides to an old sheet music stand. As I waved my light sources around the resulting draft hit the plastic, causing it to move. In hindsight, I could have taped (with clear sticky tape) the acetate to a piece of glass to secure it in place better. Next time. Another issue I discovered is the amount of dust that collected on the acetate. I had wiped it with a cloth and seemingly charged it with static electricity, turning the plastic into some kind of dust magnet. This was only an issue when I lit the design from the front (see the video around the 4 second mark). It ruined a couple of shots for me, however I quickly learned to use the dust to my advantage and got some interesting speckly effects. All I had to do was to light from a different angle. Come to think of it, a bit of glass should help stop the dust from gathering on the front (at least) too.

I really enjoyed using the acetate with light painting and once I iron out a few of the kinks in the technique I intend on doing it again, with some different designs on the printout. Once I have done so I'll share the results here. Keep an eye out.

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