I found a photography club here in Billings, a chance to get back into the social aspect of photography. At our last meeting, we got some instruction on light painting. I had seen light painting on a grand scale. We did some at Arches last October, shining a billion or so candlepower flashlight on some of the hoodoos. I didn’t really like the result, but my primary aim then was to make some Milky Way images and the light painting kind of interfered with that to my mind.

Well, we learned that it didn’t take a flashlight bright enough to blind a person to do the work, rather, one could work with an LED flashlight and get some pretty cool results. The examples our teacher showed clued me in not only on how to approach the subject, but on what I wanted to do my first light painting project on.

I like single-malt Scotch (Whusky as Mr. Scott calls it in Star Trek). I like Islay single malt because it’s got a very distinctive peaty, smokey flavor. So, of course, the subject had to be my Christmas present to myself, my Laphroaig 18-year-old Scotch. Along with giving me a good subject to work with in the dark, there was the added attraction that if I poured some into a glass, I got to drink it after the shoot. A perfect episode.

Here’s what I got (As always, click to enlarge):

Light paint 1

Light paint


I thought it would be a good idea to show a progression, so I started with the bottle and empty glass. The next one shows the Scotch poured and ready to drink. I suppose the third shot should be the smile on my face after I got a taste of that fine Scotch, but I was too busy enjoying it to do a self-portrait.

Laphroaig 2

Laphroaig 2


Now all I need to do is find some more subjects for light painting. It’s really quite fun.

More to follow,



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