Playing with the Light

A few years ago when I was studying photography one of my projects was Playing the the Light.  We could do anything we wanted, but light had to be the focus.  I loved the project and I have wanted to do it again for a long time.  I needed a very dark place, a pen light and some things to light up.  I used my hallway with all the doors closed, very cramped space, but since it was my first attempt in a while it worked.

Roses getting some Light

See what I mean?  I put the light over and around the roses.  They didn’t turn out quite as well as I hoped, I couldn’t get a very good torch.  All the torched these days are LED, and they give too much light for this.  I had to put a heap of tape over the end with a small hole in it to try and close the amount of light coming out.  I also had to be dressed in black, with gloves as well so I wouldn’t be seen.  It is pretty hot here now and not really a good thing to be doing right now.

This needs practice, I can’t lie.  I also think doing it at night would be much better. I do like how the roses have come out.

Lighting the PlumsThis bowl was purchased at the Daylesford Market and this is the first time I have used it.  The plums came from a tree that my husband rides past on his bike.  The tree is on public land, so he has been helping himself and bringing heaps home.  They are very nice.

This image has worked better, but it could have been better.  I really will have to try this again.

Teatime in the LightMy daughter helped me with this one.  When I asked her what it looked like, she said electric.  It hasn’t worked brilliantly, but it gives you an idea.  The first lot I did, all those years ago, were done on film, and I had no idea if they worked until the film came back from the lab.  The others worked better than today, but I probably need to think a lot more about what I am doing.

Klara in the LightKlara wanted some photos, so I did some. I tried doing what I did with the others, but she kept laughing and wouldn’t stay still.  We had to change, so she sat still and I shone the torch on the wall.  I had to do it quickly, otherwise it burned out.  I also had to take all the tape off the end of the torch as well.  I am going to have to do more of these, but somewhere with a better backdrop.

TiddlesThis is Tiddles, our cat, he kept jumping up on the table I was using, so we thought we would try one.  I think you can see why you shouldn’t do one with a cat.  He kept following the light and wouldn’t stay still, no matter how many times we told him not to move.

Playing like this is a lot of fun, and I would like to do a lot more of it.  I just need to get a better torch, use a bigger room, and do it at night.  Lessons learned.

I meant to tell you this yesterday, and I was in such a hurry I forgot all about it.  Apparently The River Muse is doing something on me.  I was interviewed over the internet and the article was being published on the 10th.  So if you are interested check it out The River Muse.


I have been nominated for a few more.

One Lovely Blog Award

The Year of the Warrior

Make Believe Boutique

Leibster Award

Eric M Vogt’s Blog

2012 Blog of the Year

Orbs Delight



Finally, from Patricia another award,


Congratulations on the awards and thank you so much for nominating me.  Please visit the blogs.


  1. I absolutely LOVE playing with light and slow shutter speed! My son and I did it about 3 yrs ago when I seriously got in to photography. Have you and your daughte ever pretended she was a ghost? :) Have her in the frame (doesn’t matter day or night) for a few seconds and then have her step out while the shutter still hasn’t finished capturing the image. FUN! And I couldn’t find the article. Post a link directly to it if you can.

  2. I love these and your title, “Playing with the light.” Since I’ve also been working a lot with the metaphor of the Light from a Quaker perspective, as a personally transformative experience, these have a special resonance.
    Maybe you can help us really see ourselves and each other in a new perspective.

  3. Thank you for stopping by my blog! Beautiful photos! I love how you used the light around it. Reminds me of magic and fairies!

    • You’re welcome Sue, It was fun and I can understand the magic, I think that is what it reminds me of as well, thanks

    • Klara will be so pleased, she insisted that I put it on my blog, he just wanted to be a part of what we were doing. :) Thanks EllaDee

  4. These are great fun. The wonderful part of light painting is the randomness of result. You can literally stumble into a discovery. I have been doing selective painting of objects in the dark for years now, and each shot is a distinctly different effect. These are lovely…keep working on it!

  5. I did something similar with the hs students in the unused dark room. We tried to write words and also outlines bodies. I like your use of the objects and we may give it a try!. Definitely electric!

    • Thank you rutheh, I think it works really well with objects, see if you can do people, but you need ones that won’t laugh or move. haha

  6. Good for you, Leanne, that you post photos you believe aren’t up to your usual high standards. Very few others, myself included, would do that. It’s a measure, I think, of your dedication to teaching that brings so many well-deserved awards your way,

    • I think it is a great idea ag, then you can see how I improve, or don’t. Thank you, what a lovely thing to say.

  7. Awesome! I love the plums the most. Although I love how the light changed colours near the teapot.

    I haven’t tried light painting yet but after seeing your photos, I think I’ll give it a shot, no pun intended!

    • Thank you Jocelyn, the plums are proving to be popular.
      Yes, give it a shot, it is a lot of fun. Nice to try something different.

  8. Nicholas Merrynote says

    Amazing pictures as always… and Congrats for the nominees, you deserve them ! Hug, N.Merrynote

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  10. What fun Leanne! I love that what results is a bit of a mystery when you’re in the midst of play. I think I could use this sort of fun myself and thank you for the inspiration ! (congrats on the awards too!)

  11. Nikki says

    This is so much fun! I’ve only “light-painted” once and you’re right – it’s something that needs to be practiced! Your shots are great, I especially love the bowl of plums.

  12. Photos close to home says

    And this post is only one of the many reasons why I follow you blog.

  13. Justin D. Hatfield says

    I have something new to try!! This is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Very nice images. I have played around a little with light, and saw a tip that said to put a white infants white sock over the end of your LED flashlight. It will diffuse the light, and give you what you need.

  15. Remarkable photos …. The poor cat look like its electrified *smile
    My pick is the vase – stunning and wired.
    Congratulations to your awards and your nominees.

    • Haha, I don’t think he knew what was happening, but he seemed to want to be there. I quite like the vase too, thank you viveka.

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  17. Wow, you are insanely talented. These pictures are stunning, I am in awe of the things you can do. You’re a really wonderful photographer. I take photos myself but never anything as creative as this. Just amazing! I look forward to seeing more from you, I wish you good luck with everything & hope all is well!

    Cheers :)

    • It is all experience Ky, I devote a lot of time to it, my husband would say too much, haha, but I like to try different things and see what I can do. Just keep going yourself, we can all be great, thank you. :)

    • He can be very stubborn Anita, and sometimes, he just sticks around when you don’t want him too, we thought the first time he would take off, but he just made himself more comfortable, we had to kick him off eventually. He likes being around us.

  18. Oh darn. Apologize for the double comments. I’m still figuring out somethings with my account. It didn’t show up that it posted after it redirected me to another page to sign in. I thought if I used my twitter account it would finally start working better… Ha-ha. I’m sorry!

    • NO worries Ky, once I got this, I deleted one of them for you, it happens, I stuff things up all the time. I hope that was okay.

  19. David1985 says

    I haven’ tried light painting but it seems that it would require a lot of experimentation. Very narrow beam of light, and at least several seconds while the shutter remains open. Sounds like fun–yours are really magical–liked the roses best, especially the light playing on the vase.

    • I used the bulb shutter speed, and used my remote shutter release. Once I got into it it wasn’t too bad, the worst part was the light reflecting off the walls, I should have put up a back drop. Thank you so much David, hope you give it a go.

  20. How Cool! I once saw a guy on a paris street at night playing with his flashlight and a camera on a tripod…always wondered what they would look like.
    The cat pic is good, in an artsy way. It doesn’t look like a cat, so much as a fluid furry thing…

    • Oh what a great idea, I might have to try that myself Marie, thanks for the suggestion.
      Tiddles was being stubborn, but it does look funny, thank you.

  21. I really like the second shot! They’re all great, but that one is so alive and the zingy electricity suits the fruit perfectly.

  22. saymber says

    Congrats to you on the awards and interview Leanne! Well deserved accolades for you. These photos are AWESOME! The Tiddles picture is so cool because it looks like a fairy is taunting him :-)

  23. petit4chocolatier says

    Excellent pictures! And congratulations on your awards; well deserved!!

  24. hutchphotography2020 says

    The light painting is fascinating and nice too. Now that winter is upon us here I will have dreary days to spend indoors. Perhaps I’ll give it a go. Cool beans on all the awards.

    • YOu will have lots of time to do some of this Hutch, I look forward to seeing it. The light you use is the most important thing.

  25. These are stunning effects really love them. You are right LED give out too much light, I should know, I used them a lot in my interior design projects. However, LED with a warm tone light are available.

  26. dicklespot says

    These are fantastic! I particularly like the tea service. The added light makes it appear uber-caffeinated.

  27. Great photos! Cats never do what you tell them. I think of patches of light as cat traps – they follow them round the room.

  28. WOW! I’ve never taken a photography class, which I should, and so I’ve never even heard of this! It’s really awesome looking :) I think I might try this

  29. Artistic work! I am attempted to try it, while waiting for your another experiment of this. Thanks for sharing your work, Leanne. :)

    Very inspiring!

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