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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Light-painting in the Day

Capitol Theater
© Martin Liew Photography

Last Sunday I gathered two of my friends to join me for the exploration of the old Capitol Theater located near City Hall MRT Station. I was there a day earlier for location recce. Some of the pictures I took with my mobile phone camera can be seen on my other blog site.

It's more than 10 years since the last time I visited the theater for movie screenings. It comes as a big thrill to me and I would like to share with you the pictures I've made. So come on in for some visual treats.



The image featured above was taken in the day time. I thought I should make a night image of the theater, without any pedestrians and passing-by vehicles, or perhaps with some light trails. Would be interesting to put them side by side to show day and night time sceneries.

Back on track. It was a great delight and excitement to do photography inside this 79 years old theater. It has concealed by hoarding board for many years and since April 2011 this year, some hoarding boards were removed and theater exit doors are opened for the first time in the past 10 years, shining some llight in and clearing up the smelly air inside.

Yes, the air is filled with decays and dust. Quite a stench I must say, but after sometime, your nose adapts to it. Here is one of the images I made with my Nikon D70s. This is one of the significant structures in the theater main screening hall, one on each side of the stage or white screen. Notice how the wall papers, textures and design look like.

White Statues
© Martin Liew Photography

Intercom Line
© Martin Liew Photography

I noticed this old telephone with its cord and telephone line still attached, sitting at the main box office counter, as if begging me to take its picture. The door into the counter room in locked. Despite no access, I managed to expose this picture for 90 seconds, with natural LED light on the phone and a turquoise colored gel on the background. The counter room was lit up with a strong Halogen light, which bounced against the wall on the far left side of the room.

This Way Up
© Martin Liew Photography

This is the staircase leading to the second floor's balcony seats or as they called it, Circle Seats in those days. There wasn't enough sunlight reaching this part of the staircase, so I lit up with a LED light coupled with a turquoise and violet colored gels for 130 seconds. Perspective correction was applied in post-production process.

I discovered an empty hall on the second floor located just below the balcony seats. It used to be a restaurant as printed on the door, Imperial Room Restaurant. There's a stairway leading to a big empty hall which is dark as most of the windows are sealed up with boards.I wonder how it was looked like back in those days.

Imperial Room Restaurant
© Martin Liew Photography

Well, the hall is not totally dark but I thought it would be good to do some light-paintings. The picture shown above was exposed for 25 seconds, enough time for me to walk around to light up the dark areas with a natural LED light.

Why I applied light-painting technique here? Well, because I have better control over the amount of light intensity to be exposed and captured. Using flash lights would be possible but too harsh and get undesirable results.

I made the same picture with much much more interesting and better results. I named it Instillation. You might recall the similar lighting effect I did at the abandoned house during the night outing with Troy Paiva. Obviously you can tell the lighting difference but with the latter, I used a simple tool to achieve the bubble-like effect with beautiful illuminations. Make a guess. But no prize if you guess it correctly. Leave down your guesses in the comments section.


Before we go, I want to show you readers the group photo we took. I applied the 'Instillation' technique and it turns out really awesome. Thanks to my friend, Randall for taking this unique shot.


Day time Nocturne @ Capitol Theater
Image courtesy of Randall Kok. © Randall Kok.