Waterfall Rotation - Light Painting

Water running into the sink.

As you have seen in my last post I got to a new field or better say a new topic to photograph. This looks like Black and White Photography but it's actually not. Water is another element I want to play with. It reflects and refracts the light.

The idea was to light paint running water like a little waterfall and rotating the camera during the exposure. The hope was to get some regular feel with a coincidental aspect of the random water droplets. Flashing/strobing regular the water stream and rotate the camera at the same time. So yes that's what you see. The water reflects the flashlight strobe and hopefully, I can freeze a couple of individual droplets as well as a water stream shape.

The exposure time depended on the time it took me to flash the water and rotate the camera with the other hand. The second image is a 64-second exposure time at F22 and ISO50. Discovering the settings that work and completing the circle/ rotation.


The second shot was actually taken first to check the setting. It was taken with the F-Stop of F11 and ISO 100.
Not perfectly in focus it still hold a magic of shapes and light.

Almost complete rotation in 45-seconds gets us the open circle.
The circle line is the outlet of the faucet ;-)

Since the rotation is not done by a motorized mechanic it is me during the crank on the camera rotation device. It was hard to predict the outcome of the shots. That part I really love. As the Polaroid slogan used to say:
"See what develops".

The flashlight that was doing the strobe was laying on the side doing its thing. With one hand I would rotate the camera and with the other, I would place the light on the water and then keep rotating and repeat.

The Setup


Behind the faucet, I placed a blackboard so I would not reflect in the glass that is behind the sink. Then turn off the kitchen lights and get the composition right.


If you have a closer look here, you can see that the light is coming from a 90° angle from the side. In live mode, I started focusing on the edge of the water. With F22 I hoped it would be nice and crisp in the shots. That effect did not play out so nicely as I hoped because the flash is not as strong and fast as the water was flowing.

Room for improvement for the next experiments. Maybe I do this in the shower ;-)

As always what you see as Light Painting images are not composites. These are all single long-exposure photographs.

I hope it was informative and maybe also somewhat inspirational. If you have more questions please do not hesitate. I am happy to share my knowledge.

Gunnar Heilmann Photogrpahy

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