Forays into Light Painting

I discovered Twin Cities Brightest and Hobsonish some time ago and have since wanted to try my hand at similar artistry.

For Christmas, I received two sets of cold cathode tubes (available on Amazon), in red and blue. These are designed for use in a fancy gaming desktop computer, with a switch and loads of wires for connecting to a computer's power supply.  This makes it difficult to use them for light painting.

So, I called my friend Erik, who has spent significant time wielding soldering irons and the like to create exciting light displays.  We headed off to Radio Shack, bought some AA batteries, battery holders, and 9V battery clips; and did some electrical work to create a portable light rig.

Erik also had some switches and a hot glue gun, allowing us to combine the battery pack, voltage converter, and switch all in one hand-held device.  Twin Cities Brightest has a tutorial on how to do this available here, using the same brand of cold cathode tube.

After constructing our handheld lighting rigs, we hiked out to the state park (we share it as a backyard) and the original B&O Railroad grade, now a walking trail.  A stream runs underneath, through one of many impressive arched stone culverts.  I set my camera on a tripod, ISO 100, f/6.3, shutter on 'bulb' with remote control.  No clouds and a 3/4 full moon.  Our shots were usually 3 to 5 minute exposures.

I'm quite happy with our first experiments and look forward to messing with these lights a lot more over the next year!