Adapters to attach acrylic glas "blades" to torchlights to be used as tools in light painting photography.
A few compact adapters to attach a blade directly to a flashlight in different sizes and a plug in system to be able to switch between blades quickly.
The first image shows an example I made especially for this project. I used an RGB flashlight set to a color sweep to draw the letters and some survival fire starter for the sparks.
The second image is an example on how you can make mistakes when spelling letters... you have to paint them mirrored if you are facing the camera (try to think about it why!), so you see, the last letter was painted the wrong way around... it was supposed to spell "thing".
The next two photos show examples on what you can create with this tools. You can already see some effects i describe in the project section on how colors mix when using light.
The last two photos show the attached tool, first the direct tool, second the plug in system.
Acrylic blades became quite popular in light painting photography, but there is always the problem on how to attach them to a light source. You could glue LEDs to it, but then are limited to those LEDs, maybe even the color they emit (if not using RGBs), so i decided to design adapters for flashlights.
I created two sizes for common flashlight diameters and common acrylic glas thickness, so those can be used directly with a flashlight and if you want color with colored gels inside them.
But then it came to my mind that switching between blades is not an easy thing with this concept, so I also designed a plug in system, so there is a part on the flashlight that can hold colored gels, and a part attached to the blade that can swiftly clipped in.
(If anyone needs more flashlight diameters just let me know)
Project: Understanding additive mixing of colors an different "layers"
Since this is a nice way to lean something about color models and additive color mixing (which is the way a camera works) I decided to add this to the project challenge.
The goal of this project is to get accustomed to how light in different colors compose to form a final image captured by a camera. Since this also a form of art it is a really nice and fun way to learn an otherwise rather boring topic.
You might ask what this has to do with learning about 3D printing, well let me answer that:
For once this shows how a simple model printed by a 3D printer can transform mundane objects like a flashlight and some acrylic glas sheets into tools to make awesome artworks.
Also a few concepts of 3D printing can be applied when using this tool, because you use a camera set to bulb mode (long exposure) and "paint layers" of color in thin air. This is pretty close to how a 3D printer creates an object. In this images whatever is painted first becomes the bottom layer, and whatever you do afterwards at the same spot (even if it is further away) adds another layer on top of that until you reach a full white spot (can't go anywhere once you reached white on a camera sensor).
There are little skills needed to do this project.
Recommended audience are students interested in art and photography, because what you learn by it will help with understanding the concepts of color schemes.
Apart from the 3D printer you will need a printing material that is 100% opaque. You don't want to get any light through the adapter itself, so all the light the torch emits is only be seen through the acrylic glas.
Of course you also need a few acrylic glas sheets.
I suggest playing with different thicknesses and forms.
As a start different sizes squares and triangles will get you quite nice results.
If you are familiar with how to use these you can try more exotic forms like circles, ovals or even gears.
You will also need a camera that is able to take long exposure photos. A DSLR would be perfect, since nearly any of those can be set to bulb mode, which is an exposure mode that you can control as you like (press shutter to start exposure release or click again to end exposure). But you can also use any camera that lets you set exposure time to a few seconds (up to 30 is pretty common too), you just have to watch the time while painting the image.
- Print adapters that fit your torchlight and selected acrylic glas sheets.
- Find a dark place. This only works in darkness, if there is a low ambient light it might be possible to take photos with higher aperture or a low ND filter. But the best results will be in complete darkness.
- Set up your camera and set up the exposure parameters. I suggest starting with ISO 100, aperture f/9 to f/14 and bulb mode (if available)
- Make yourself accustomed with the surrounding while you still have light or using your flashlight. You don't want to run into stuff while concentrated on the task at hand. It can cause injuries and also ruin your image... well sometimes it can also produce pretty funny or awesome images but at the price of some pain, so make sure you know where you can step and where not.
- Start an exposure and use the acrylic blade illuminated by the flashlight to "paint" forms into thin air. At first just use white light to get accustomed on how it looks on the taken photo. After you get a feel for the way to move add colors to your flashlight. Try combining different colors and watch closely the resulting colors when the ones you used overlap. This is the main part of this project, to learn something about how colors mix when taken by a camera. In contrast to paint where the color pigments "soak up" wavelengths of the light and only reflect wavelengths of a certain color (subtractive color mixing) when using light and a camera you combine wavelengths of light to mix colors (additive color mixing).
At the end you should have a few awesome photos and leaned something about colors and layering while doing it.
Especially the difference between subtractive color mixing and additive color mixing should have become obvious after a few photos. A way to test the gained knowledge might be to check if you found out what color you get when you mix certain prime colors using paint and using light and why the result is different.
There are direct adapters for flashlights with 24mm, 27mm, 34mm and 37mm head diameter. Most flashlights I have fit in one of these. For the plug system I created 27mm and 37mm versions since those are the most common diameters.
For example LED Lenser P7.2 has 37mm, LED Lenser P7QC, LED Lenser P7R,
LED Lenser T7 and LED Lenser M7 should have the same dimensions.
LED Lenser V²-ALE has a diameter of 27mm and most of the small lights are very similar.