My Process – Black Light Photo Shoot


For the last few months I was planning a photo shoot based on my ‘Wink’ drawing, (featuring Lapis from The Wish Bringer) which I finally carried out last Friday.

First, I ordered some clothes online that looked similar to drawing, making sure to take into account shipping time.

Then I started thinking about the background.  At first I was going to project some images on to the wall, however that idea fell through, and I came up with another one.

Last month I drew up a design of a black light inside of a bell jar, and got my uncle to safely wire it up for me, (picture below).  I found the glow effect to be really cool, and figured that it would create a nice atmosphere for the photo shoot, (which it did).

For some finishing touches I hung up some butcher’s paper on the wall and painted a flared out design with the acrylic paints that I had available at the time (most of them had dried up actually).  Looking back on it though, I should have bought some fluorescent paint before hand so that it would’ve glowed with the black light, oh well.  Next time.  That being said, the design did look nice in the final photos.

After that, I need a way to prop up my black light, (and LED light up speakers), so I found an easy solution.  All I did with put a cardboard box on top of my draws and cover it with a blanket.  The mirror doors on my cupboard probably aided in reflecting more light, though that more coincidental than planned, because the wall next to it was the spaciest place available.

Then I set up my DSLR camera on my tripod and tested out the setting.  Because the black light was so dark I needed to slow down the shutter speed, which means, if the photo was taken by hand, it would’ve come out blurry.  However, since I had a tripod that didn’t really matter.  After make up, clothes and all the electrical equipment being set up, I was ready to take the photos.

Actually, my camera ran out of batteries during the shoot, (should’ve remembered to charge it before hand), so I switched half way to my video camera, which also takes still photos.  The video camera doesn’t have manual controls like the DSLR, however it still did a good job.

I didn’t edit these two photos, besides cropping, to show how amazing the lights look.


I edited the next few photos though, because my face was hidden in the dark.






I also did this composite image for fun to show the merge between photography and drawing. Doesn’t look as good as the others, because I needed to edit the colours so that they looked as close as possible, but it’s cute none the less.

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Rocket Child

I am an independent animator and artist. I graduated from the University of Newcastle, Australia, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) degree. I am also the Assistant Director of the Melbourne International Animation Festival. As a practicing artist, I specialise in drawing and 2D animation. However, I also have experience and the skills for painting, photography, installation, video art and editing, composing and recording music, fiction writing, sculpture, design and curating. Working at the animation festival, I have to opportunity to see the best new independent animations, meet and speak with many relevant animators, curate film screenings, organise and chair presentations and talks, and attend conferences and research trips. My Fine Arts background helps me understand the history of western art and how to analyse these films with a fair sense of judgment. View all posts by Rocket Child

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