Tag Archives: painting

I Painted a Lion

I don’t know what YOU do from 10PM to 1 in the morning… Me?  I chase my whims.

Often my whims lead me to cocktail waitresses and pool halls but more often than not I am usually chasing an actual challenge. Last night I was resolved to paint a lion.  I finally did it.

A few weeks ago I saw this video on TED about “Light Painting”


I was instantly hooked.  But I had huge problem:  I don’t have a camera.  I flooded my G11 on a 100’+ scuba to the Sea Tiger fishing schooner.

It limped for a few weeks in true Canon toughness, then died.  So, I’ve been introducing “Lightpainting” and the video above to anyone with a camera hoping they’d want to pick it up and create something original with me.

I do not wait for someone to hold my hand and walk with me.  I’ll do anything from a day at the beach to four days in the Alaskan backcountry armed with bear spray (lethal stuff) and shovel- by myself.  So the lack of interest I was met with wasn’t much of a turn off.

After tribulations with some shit cameras, memory cards that won’t format, and contemplating spending three grand on a full format camera and some lenses, I finally turned inward- to my iPhone.  I found an app called Slow Shutter Cam and became armed to attempt to paint this lion that I bought in Afghanistan ( I knew I went there for a reason!) 

In case you’re too lazy to watch the four minute video above; Light Painting is when you shoot with an open shutter and “paint” the light/exposure onto your subject.   Anyone with a camera and some flash lights can do this.  These were my tools and subjects:

A red head cam (for hiking/working) and a Maglight. Both shielded with electric tape.

iPhone Camera Stand

I have no Idea what the hell that is

And, my favorite photo aid:  five towels to block control the lighting.  [That Looks Like the Doorbell to Hell]

This is the settings I used on Slow Shutter Cam app:


My vision was to ‘Paint’ wings onto my lion and turn him into a Griffon.  A flying cat- maybe I had a little inspiration from my date today- yesterday- Thanks Stef!

The following photos contain NO EDITING.  (wait till you see the last one)

The idea (as it evolved) was to make that mask thing look like a cave.  The Griffon was coming out of his cave to spread his wings and probably go kill something.  (Yeah, I know its a jade sculpture by my imagination has no limits.)  I was using the lights an a counting strategy to light specific areas such as the the teeth and face of the lion.  The MagLite went dead on me (I had it running for nearly two hours).

Oh, if you ever decide to tape a MagLite with electric tape, be aware that it gets extremely hot.  “Oh My God!” hot.

Here’s a shameless plug:  I used my business card to create wings and do light shielding.

Yeah, you can call me.

Finally, as big as the idea could get for me tonight:  I wanted my Griffon to be emerging during a lightning storm!  Think big or go home, right?



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Read the first post to see how I got started in this blog.



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