Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Blog Has Moved - check out the new stuff!

Hi Folks

I have moved my blog over to Wordpress for a variety of reasons. Please update your RSS feeds to my new site as I will no longer be posting to this site.

So mosey on across to my new site and check out some of the latest posts including a video photoshop tutorial on intensifying water.

My new site is at

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A wonderful evening of photography - Forresters & Central Coast

Well last Friday was the full moon and I was keen to get out. I went up to Central Coast with Kajo and we had a fantastic evening shooting 3 Central coast locations in ideal conditions.

Check out this video which will give you a taste of our evening (you can see of our light painting at the end.)

I thought I'd talk about one of my light painting shots and explain how it was captured.

Light Painting Some Unusual Rocks

This shot is called "Light Painting Some Unusual Rocks"... (pretty creative title eh?)

From a light painting perspective this is a pretty straight forward affair. First frame I laid down my "stage" or base shot. I used a 4 min exposure to capture the clouds wooshing past.

Second shot was a 30 second exposure where I was painting with my fluoro light.

In photoshop I combined the two images into the final.

If you want more information on how I did this, then I suggest you check out my eBook.

More later


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Body & Form - My first studio lighting project

I just finished a project that I call “Body & Form”. It is a huge departure for me from my usual landscape and night photography, but it was a lot of fun. Here’s what the project was all about.

Aim of project: I wanted to push my photography into new areas. So far I have quite deliberately stayed away from shooting people or wildlife because quite frankly neither of them interest me from a photographic perspective. However I felt like I was ready for a new challenge, so I came up with the idea of doing a dramatic studio shoot of a ballet dancer’s body. My major objectives were:
1) Start getting an understanding of studio lighting
2) Learn how to work with a model
3) Get familiar with portrait and retouching workflow in Photoshop

Now I’m pretty lucky here, my Mother has a school for full-time dancers who are training to become professional, so I had my choice of dancer and also a great space to shoot in. My local camera club had the lighting gear that I could borrow.

I had done a fair bit of research, I approached the dancer (Emma) and she was keen to be part of the project. We planned two sessions:

Session 1: was to be totally experimental, I wanted to achieve the following:
• For me to get comfortable working with Emma
• For Emma to get comfortable working with me
• For me to experiment with different lighting setups to see what works
• For Emma to get comfortable with the lights and camera
• For me to work out the sort of poses I wanted to shoot.

Session 2: was “The shoot” and was taken about 4 days later. It gave me time to process the test shots from session 1 and make adjustments etc. Emma and I spent about an hour reviewing the session 1 photos and talking about what worked and what didn’t, so when we started the next session we were pretty focused on what we each needed to do.

AV Presentation Movie from Brent Pearson on Vimeo.

This video is a little 2 min video that I made up for a presentation I was doing at my local camera club on the convergence of video and stills and how video can give your stills photos context rather than the traditional stills slide show. If you are interested in the lighting and the setup I used, this video will show you which lights I used and how I positioned them.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My eBook is now available - Night Photography & Light Painting

Well I have spent the past month working hard on my first eBook. It's called
Night Photography & Light Painting
Tips, Tricks and Secrets.

This eBook has more than 80 pages and in it I have documented in great detail all of my experiments, and methods for capturing night landscapes. I've also documented all my experiments with light painting sources as well as a series of step-by-step guides that cover:
  • Capturing night landscapes
  • Building a light painting wand
  • Light painting landscapes
  • Post processing light painted images

For anyone that wants to get into night photography or light painting, I'm sure this eBook will accelerate their learning considerably.

You can find out more about the book at

I hope you enjoy it


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Light Painting An Old fort

On Sunday night Kajo, Michelle, Gavin and I took advantage of the full moon and gorgeous Summer evening to head out to Middle Head Fort to do a bit of light painting.

It was a fun night, some of the others hadn't done any light painting before, so we kind of hung out as a group and mainly used my light to paint up a few different structures. It was interesting to see the different interpretation by the others of the same subject.

The Old Bunker
This old part of the fort was an interesting one for light painting because of all the angles and also the fact that it was raised up against the sky (most of the rest of the fort is recessed). I loved the steps leading up to the structure and when you lit these up from a low angle the light cast some cool shadows on the stairs.

So we all set up next to eachother and exposed our base image and then we started painting.
  • First we lit the stairs up from the bottom left
  • Then we lit the building from the top left
  • Then we shined the light out from inside
  • Then we fired some flashes with pink gel over them
  • Finally we painted the roof overhang with a surefire torch.

This was my first "building" that I have painted..... I think I'm going to do some more.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Night Photography & Light Painting Presentation

Last night I gave a presentation on night photography and light painting to a bunch of folk from some of the North Shore camera clubs. I certainly enjoyed the evening and there seemed to be a lot of photographers very interested to learn more about nocturnal photography.

For those that attended last night, thanks for giving up your Friday night, I hope you found it of value. Here's some links to some of the resources I mentioned in my talk last night.

My primer on night photography

My primer on Light Painting

Light Painting Forresters Rocks

Calculating night exposures

In fact I suggest you read all of the posts that I did in Feb 08, they document my experiments, journey and research into night photography... there are some useful tidbits there (like how to identify the South Celestial pole if you are doing startrails etc.)

Other resources I referred to;

Toby Kellers Burnblue site (fantastic light painting where you see the light source)

Tim Simmons site (Tim inspired me to develop the light tools that I now use)

Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed the evening, I look forward to seeing you out on a rocky outcrop one night ;-)

Good luck, have fun... and don't forget the wine and cheese!