What's next?

November 13, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

So, while I am taking my time uploading photos from Yellowstone (Lord knows I took my time editing them!); I have been thinking about what my next project will be. I won't be traveling anywhere anytime soon so, this is the perfect time for a studio project. Without going too far off topic here, I spent virtually every weekend last summer (and into autumn) working on overhauling the garage. The point was two-fold: a) make it possible to park cars, b) ready it to double as a photo studio for projects.

I have the lighting gear, backdrops, and everything else I need but, I wound up either having too little space inside to set up or, making a huge mess of the house. The garage provides plenty of space and if I make a mess (aside from the lights, stands, cables, etc.), I can just sweep or hose it out when finished. Last year, I ordered a couple of lasers for which I have several plans. First and foremost, I wanted a laser powerful enough to burn through things, particularly balloons, I also wanted a laser that was slightly less dangerous.

The more dangerous of the two is my 10W blue model. This thing bursts balloons, ignites cardboard, cuts plastic, maybe even punch a hole through the house if I'm careless. It's also an amazing brilliant blue.

I know. It looks more purple in this photo but it actually is stunning electric blue. The other laser is a more docile 200mW green model. Perhaps if one waited long enough it could burn balloons but that could take some time -- especially, if say, the balloon is full of liquid dissipating any heat build up.

 

 

A quick snapshot of both. The larger, lightsaber looking one, is my blue laser.

 

To give you some idea of scale. The smaller one (the green laser) is about the size of a dry erase marker. The larger one weighs about two pounds and is about 15" long. Fortunately, the blue laser also has a low power mode. That feature means I can reasonably expect not to burn a hole through my house when it's in use which will be ideal for this first project I'm going to tackle. Cameras with friggin' lasers!

Drevil million dollars.jpg
 

So, earlier this week I ordered myself decent fog/smoke machine for less than $30. For another $25 I also ordered a gallon of recommended juice
for the fogger. What I am currently lacking is a lens that will turn my laser pointer into a flat beam. I'm awaiting lenses in both 45º and 60º spreads.

Okay. What's this all about? Well if you look at smoke going through a flat beam of light you can get some pretty trippy looking abstracts. It's like a Star Trek version of a lava lamp (just don't look directly at the light). Wicked lasers has a pretty decent YouTube video of smoke going through one of their arctic blue lasers. The video is kind of mesmerizing (especially if you go full HD, turn off the lame background music and go full screen).

So now you can gather where I'm going with this. I was hoping to start experimenting this weekend but my lenses aren't due in until later in the week so I'll have to wait until Thanksgiving weekend to play around. Maybe I'll post a quick follow up with some candid snaps from my phone. So that's the plan for the first bona fide studio project since I (mostly) finished the space.

Disclaimer: I'm well aware of the dangers, laws, regulations, etc. of using lasers. In fact, the blue laser will never be leaving the confines of my house. 

I am curious if folks have other ideas, tips, etc. for what lasers can be used for in photography. If you have some ideas leave a comment or drop a note.


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