Photography workshop provides amusing, hands-on learning experience

Students had the opportunity to learn about light painting and the art of photography in a workshop held in Brodie Hall on Monday Nov. 30. The Geneseo Photography Club held the event and collaborated with fellow students to get the perfect picture using streams of light and color. A handful of students were able to get a hands-on experience with taking photographs involving light painting—a technique in which exposures are made by moving a light source around while taking a long exposure photograph. If this is done right, the product is a picture with streaks of light and vibrant colors.

Photography Club was able to produce such pictures with the help of student suggestions. The only tools they had were Christmas lights, a flashlight and some flash bulbs when they went into the workshop. Creativity was the key element.

At first, the students in the workshop moved the Christmas lights around in a circular motion, which ended up looking like a cone of light. Then, a student suggested shining a light on and off in someone’s face while they moved to the left with each shine of the flashlight. This produced a spooky-looking collaboration of different, lit up facial expressions.

More and more creative ideas developed as the workshop progressed. For instance, participants waved the lights back and forth on the sides of a sitting student, which created an almost angelic-like effect with neon, light-drawn wings. They also moved the lights in a circular—as well as a figure-eight—motion around their heads, which came out as a revolution of saturated and colorful light.

Each photograph had its own element of uniqueness. The timing and light exposure were key components in creating the perfect picture. But sometimes, it was really just about luck and having everything come together on its own.

Additionally, the photographers attempted to get multiple different shots not only by using the lights in different ways, but also by using the same technique from different angles. This allowed for more of a variety of pictures, even if it involved a similar manner of light painting. Photography Club secretary and public relations representative senior Amy Liang explained that the club took a particular liking to light painting specifically because it seemed fascinating and applicable to everyone’s daily life.

“Light painting is a really cool effect that you see in a lot of places, like on Instagram, or some college textbooks even have it,” she said. “It’s just a really pretty thing to look at, so we thought it would be just a fun little workshop to teach people how to make this cool effect and just to make photography a little bit more related ... to Geneseo students that might think that photography isn’t their thing.”

Whether or not individuals had intense experience with photography, the event was very accessible to all students. The effects in the photo were fascinating to use, so it seemed to be a lot of fun for everyone who participated. Now, the students who attended this unique event can use these techniques when creating these masterpieces in their own homes.