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Painting with Light—featuring GorillaTorches!

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Jordana Wright is a professional photographer based in Chicago, IL. We first met Jordana during her America By Rail project, a 45 day photography trip across the western United States. She’s been our BFF ever since, making full use of our GorillaPod, Camera Strap GripTight and GorillaTorch lines. She also hosts photo walks and workshops in Chicago, so if you’re Chicago-based, be sure to follow her on Google+ and attend her next event! Thanks Jordana for writing this awesome article for us! 

Painting with Light – featuring JOBY’s GorillaTorches

Photographs and Article by Jordana Wright

Painting with Light is a great way to add artistry and interest to your light photography.  It can draw out details in natural features, add intrigue to architecture, and bring drama to portraits.  To get started painting with light you’ll need: a camera, a tripod, and a couple of powerful flashlights – like the GorillaTorch 125.

When a recent commercial shoot brought me to Virgin Gorda, in the British Virgin Islands, I took the opportunity to practice Painting with Light in a few of the island’s iconic locations.  Armed with my Canon 60Ds, a Gorillapod Focus with BallHead X, a wide selection of lenses, and four GorillaTorches, I explored locations like Virgin Gorda’s famed Coppermine Point, The Baths, and Spring Bay, eager to create something beyond traditional touristy photographs.  For these shoots specifically, I worked in collaboration with another photographer (Lotus Carroll of Austin, TX), but there are plenty of ways to accomplish similar shots on your own.

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Spring Bay and the Night Sky, Virgin Gorda, BVI

The first photo features the iconic boulders found at Spring Bay and The Baths.  It is a fairly easy shot to achieve, using basic Painting with Light techniques.  For this photo, my camera was mounted on a tripod, set to a low ISO (200), with a wide aperture (f/5), and a very slow shutter speed (30 sec).  Remote triggers are not required, but always helpful with longer exposures.  They help to minimize camera shake while releasing the shutter.  You can get away with using the “self timer” mode on your camera, but a remote is more consistent and very useful.

As far as the painting itself goes, there are a few different techniques you can play with.  Ultimately, you’ll find what works best for you, or what works best for each style of image you’re going for.  I like to tell students to think of Painting with Light as watering a lawn.  You want to do an even job of it.  You don’t want any dry spots (underexposed) but you don’t want muddy patches either (overexposed).

To keep my lighting even in this image, I utilized a steady side-to-side movement while working my way from the top of the object to the bottom.  If all parts of the object are fully lit by the beam, you’ll still want to move your light continuously over the object to compensate for the brightness of the light’s hotspot, and the dimness of the light’s edges.  The amount of time you spend painting will depend on your camera’s settings, the ambient light, the brightness of your light source, and the distance from the light source to the object.  For this image, I painted the boulders the whole time the shutter was open, so about 30 seconds.  I’m sure there’s an elegant formula somewhere to help you figure out the duration of painting, but with this sort of photography, experimenting is half the fun.  The more you practice, the more you’ll develop tricks, techniques, and timing.

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Red at the Coppermine, Virgin Gorda, BVI

As I’m sure you can tell this next shot was A LOT more involved.  For starters, because I used the red LED setting on the GorillaTorches, the duration of painting was much longer (red light is inherently dimmer so I needed longer painting times to achieve the same level of brightness as I would with white light).  Also, to create the silhouette effect, you will need a second person to stand in the frame.

We painted the foreground by hiding one light in among the rocks of the structure and leaving it turned on for the whole exposure.   Once the foreground light was placed, I triggered the shutter, carefully scrambled up the structure and hit a pose.  When going for the silhouette effect, make sure your model chooses a pose that they can hold for several minutes.  While I posed, Lotus painted the structure from the inside using two Gorillatorches, being careful to fill in every nook and cranny.  In order to get the full inside of the ruin, Lotus did a fair amount of crawling around and hit it from all angles.  We composed this shot several times to get a variety of exposures levels and shutter speeds.  For this specific image, the camera was set to ISO 100, at f/9, for 30 seconds.

The ring and moonlight that backlit the ruins were completely atmospheric and visible to the naked eye.  We certainly composed the image to accent the dramatic sky, but the halo effect itself is just an example of being prepared to adjust to your surroundings when they give you something great to work with! 🙂

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BVI – photograph by Lotus Carroll

Another way to paint with light is often seen with light sources like glow sticks, steel wool, and bright LEDs.  It involves facing toward the open shutter while moving your light source to create a shape or pattern, or even to form letters.  When painting words, you can make each letter from your perspective – which will be the mirror image from the camera’s perspective – then, flip the image over in Photoshop.  Make each stroke of the torch several times to sufficiently burn in the letters.  Between letters, be sure to cover the light source with your hand or a black cloth to keep from connecting the letters with accidental light trails.

Painting with Light is becoming more and more popular among photographers of the digital age.  Now that we have powerful LED technology it is even easier to add the technique to your repertoire.  So, grab your camera, a tripod, and some of JOBY’s GorillaTorches and start experimenting!

How to GorillaTorch Flare for Photo & Video Lighting at Night

By | Artist Profile, Gorillatorch, How To, Photography | 4 Comments

Oakland-based photographer/videographer/rock climber Austin Zimmerman used our GorillaTorch Flare 125 to light an awesome video of his recent trip to Yosemite. The great part about using a GorillaTorch on a camping trip? It also doubles as a photo and video light in case you decide to film your friends climbing at night!  

High Adventure Weekend from Austin Z on Vimeo.

We caught up with Austin after his trip to hear what he thought of GorillaTorch Flare and also get some tips for how to use GorillaTorch Flare to light your nighttime photos and videos. 

Tell us about your project. 

This short film was shot with a Canon DSLR and a Joby GorillaTorch Flare 125 during a weekend trip to Yosemite. A few days before our trip, a member of the Joby crew brought a box of Joby torch lights to the climbing gym where I work. We hooked up a few lucky members at our gym with a Joby light, but a co-worker and I decided we had to take one with us to Yosemite for some “field testing”.

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Tell us about your experience using the Joby GorillaTorch Flare 125.

I was blown away by the quality of light the Joby put out. The Flare 125 provided a crisp, clean beacon of light which really illuminated every detail of the boulder. Everything from the curvature of the rock all the way down to the obsidian crystals inside the granite. I have used external lighting to capture rock climbing footage at night before, but on this trip I decided to leave the bulky L.E.D. panel at home, with no regrets.

 

Tips for using the Joby as external lighting?

Much like uplighting or downlighting in home landscaping, having a powerful concentrated beam of light allows you to pick out the natural features you would like to highlight. The Joby is perfect for filming boulders at night because of the way it accentuates the beautifully sculpted prows and ledges. Those are the types of features that really lend themselves to the camera. The trick is not to point the light straight at the rock, but to pick an angle which highlights those features.

 

Favorite attribute of the Flare 125?

This light is efficient to the max. After three long nights of climbing and gathering footage, the batteries hardly seemed fazed. Even the batteries in our headlamps, which produce less light, had to be swapped at least once each.

 

Best part about filming rock climbing?

A boulder problem is like an intricate and delicate puzzle. I really enjoy that moment of discovery when you unlock the sequence of movement that allows you to ascend a line edges in a rock face. I gain a lot of inspiration from that moment when you see someone transcend mental barriers. For me it is really motivating to watch a film that captures those moments.

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Tips for people new to filming climbers?

Shoot at every chance you get! Even when your friends burn you for it!

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Going camping this summer and need some versatile flashlights? Check out our GorillaTorch line, especially our GorillaTorch Switchback – a handy two in one flashlight that converts from lantern to headlamp! 

Father’s Day 20% Off Sale! Find Great Gifts for Dad!

By | Gorillapod, Gorillatorch, Photography | No Comments

We know how tough it can be find a great gift for dad for Father’s Day. Dress shirts are boring, ties are passé, socks are well, socks. This year get your dad a gift that he’ll really put to good use! Plus, from June 1st through June 16th, we’re offering 20% off our favorite gifts for Dad!

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Need help finding a gift? Check out our Father’s Day Gift Guide below! 

Does your dad like photography? Try our GorillaPod SLR-Zoom. A super lightweight and super flexible tripod he can take anywhere to capture unique photos wherever his adventures take him.

Is Dad a pro photographer or videographer? Check out our GorillaPod Focus. A professional grade tripod with a ton more flexibility than most, it’s perfect for a dad who’s looking to get creative with his photography.

Maybe Dad is the type to hike a mountain, ride a bike or run through city streets—all to get the perfect shot. He’ll love our UltraFit Sling Strap! Designed to allow you to cinch your camera tight against your body but still have for quick and easy camera access, it is perfect for the adventurous and active photographer.

Or perhaps Dad really enjoys DIY projects around the house or tinkering with his classic car? GorillaTorch Flare has six light settings, magnetic feet and is water resistant, making it the best way to light just about any task handsfree!

Is Dad the outdoorsy type who loves to spend his time camping in the great outdoors? Then GorillaTorch Switchback is for him! A 2-in-1 lantern that can convert into a headlamp, he can use it grilling, setting up a tent, or even on a night hike up Half Dome.

Use code DADROCKS at checkout to receive 20% off these great gifts for the dads in your life!

 

 

12 Days of JOBY Giveaways!

By | Contests, Gorillamobile, Gorillapod, Gorillatorch, Holiday, Photography | No Comments

GorillaPods love to party and we think there is no better way to ring in the holiday season than with lots of awesome giveaways! For twelve days starting December 3rd, we’re giving away a different prize every day! Prizes include all of our new products like the GripTight iPhone & Android tripods and Camera Straps,  plus some great gear from Cinetics and Olloclip and GorillaPod and GorillaTorch favorites. Enter for your chance to win a GripTight GorillaPod Stand, UltraFit Sling Strap, GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and more!

 

Today’s prize …

 

Use the GripTight GorillaPod Stand and Olloclip iPhone Lens to transform your iPhone photography! Take rad macro shots or get creative with a fisheye lens, the possibilities are endless with this unstoppable combo! ENTER NOW! 

PS. Enter early for more chances to win! The best part, you only need to enter once to be entered to win all of these awesome prizes!

Last Day of Our Holiday Sale! Get 20% OFF ALL JOBY.com!

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Today is the last day of our Holiday Sale! This is the best time to get great deals on all of our awesome products, including our new GripTight Stands for iPhone & Android, new camera straps and all the old favorites, GorillaPod, GorillaTorch and GorillaMobile. They make great gifts!

Get your coupon and start shopping today! Not sure what to buy? We’ve got a snazzy gift guide and a list of our favorite products to help you out.

Ultimate Hands-Free CREE LED Flashlights!

By | Gorillatorch, New Product Launch | 3 Comments

Everyone’s favorite flashlights GorillaTorch and GorillaTorch Flare are now better and brighter than ever!  Just in time for summer, our GorillaTorch hands-free flashlights are the perfect companion on your next adventure. Not only are they super bright, they are water resistant, withstand drops of 6 feet, have super strong magnetic feet and feature our signature flexible ball and socket legs. They’re clearly the most versatile flashlight on the market and the most fun too!

GorillaTorch 100 now boasts 100 lumens of bright white light! It is 50% brighter than the original version and comes in three great new colors—charcoal, lime and dark blue.

Check out the new GorillaTorch 100 product video for even more ideas about how to put your GorillaTorch to work this summer!

GorillaTorch Flare 125 is now 25% brighter and has a max power of 125 lumens.  It sports both white and red LEDs and a snazzy strobe function.

Join the JOBY team on a camping adventure, complete with cards, star gazing and a campfire in our GorillaTorch Flare 125 product video.

To celebrate our better and brighter flashlights, we’re having a giveaway on Facebook! Share your summer outdoor aventure plans for a chance to win a GorillaTorch of your own! Enter to win today!