The Photo Cooperative, also known as COOPH, shares 4 easy ways photographers can add visual interest to their images through creative use of affordable light sources.
COOPH is known for being witty about various, mostly DIY-based ideas with the goal of making photography fun and unpredictable. COOPH photographers share a variety of lighting settings that produce visually impressive results that can also be used and adapted for professional work, and this time is no exception.
COOPH purchased four different items for testing. A rainbow sound sensitive airglow, two rainbow projector lamps, a rotating star projector lamp and a laser disco light.
sound sensitive lights
First, the team used lights that reacted to sound. This light turns on when it detects noise, when it hears a sound. The variety of light types and colors to choose from makes it an interesting and versatile tool for light painting. The team mounted the camera on a tripod and illuminated the subject with a small continuous LED light below the camera.
Then, using a long exposure, one of the photographers held the light while the camera captured the shot and “painted” the road behind the subject. This results in a vibrant photo with a background that resembles a soundwave, making it look worthy of an album cover. Photographers can draw paths in different directions depending on the subject.
rainbow projector lamp
A second light source, a rainbow projector lamp, also known as a sunset lamp, illuminates the wall. Photographers can move the lamp closer to create a smaller, more intense halo of light, or move it further away to illuminate the background more brightly.
With two lamps, COOPH played with wall shadows and illuminated subjects in different combinations to make the most of the different color modes offered by the lamps. Varying the color and distance between each lamp and the wall or subject will give different results, especially for portraits.
rotating star projector
Third, the COOPH team used a rotating projector. For this, the team set up a tent and added a bit of smoke haze to make the project glow in all directions. The projector could also be used for portraits by illuminating the background to create a silhouette or by illuminating the subject’s face.
laser disco light
Finally, the team used the capabilities of laser disco lights to create different shapes, lights and patterns throughout the room, similar to a rotating projector.
Out of all four options, the team chose the rainbow projector lamp as their favorite. This is due to its versatility in various shooting scenarios. It can be used as a main light, as a background color, or to cast shadows.
More photography tips and lighting ideas like this can be found on COOPH’s YouTube channel.
Image credit: All photos courtesy of COOPH.