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Photography is all about light. Usually our photographs are lit by sunlight, tungsten bulbs indoors, or flash. This week, our challenge was to look for an alternative source of light to create our weekly photograph. There were some amazing shares on the Clickin Moms forum, using all kinds of light sources—candles, oven and refrigerator lights, sparklers, fireplaces, nightlights . . .

As soon as I read the prompt, I started brainstorming different things around the house that light up. One of the first things that came to mind was my son’s fiber optic lamp. It was an impulse Christmas gift a couple of years ago, after we stumbled upon it at Cracker Barrel. He uses it as a night light, and I first thought that I would use it to light a portrait of him. But, as it turns out, the light that it puts out doesn’t work so well for lighting faces.

Instead, I spent about an hour photographing the lamp itself. One of my favorite things about this lamp is that when you look at it in the dark, you can run your fingers across the surface of it, and the pinpoints of light turn to squiggles. I wanted to catch that in a photograph, but the more I played, the more ways I found to photograph it. It was really very therapeutic and relaxing and I highly recommend it. In fact, I might have to order one for myself. You should, too—for $6.99 on Amazon, it’s the most fun you can have for less than ten bucks! I ended up with a LOT of images of the lamp, and it took me several days to narrow it down and pick one to submit for my P52 post. In the end I chose this one. It reminds me a bit of pictures of the earth from space, a bit of those plasma globes they used to sell in science shops, and even little bit of a brain.

Taking Photographs with Alternative Light Sources

Here are a few of my other favorites. It was so hard to narrow it down! I see rain, exploding stars, nuclear dandelions . . . so much fun and a much-needed creative boost!

Photography with Alternative Light Sources

Next up on the blog circle is Nancy at Hidden Pines Photography. Go check out her take on Alternative Light. Thanks so much for stopping by!

{Settings for the final photograph were: Canon 5D Mark II,
Canon 24-70 2.8L @ 70 mm | ISO 100 | 1/2 second | f2.8


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  1. Wow! So much from one subject! I see all three of those things in the big photo too. I would enjoy photographing this too. Light painting is fun!

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