OFFLINE: Tripping the Light Fantastic Kayak

Wells Gray National Park — Oct.09 (kayak adventure)
Photo by Todd Lawson

Painting with light is one of the funnest aspects of photography. The experimental process is always a blast and, kind of like shooting slide film, you never really know what you’re gonna get. In this photograph, my paddling partner Gavin Duffell just so happened to have a pack of green glowsticks in his pack (maybe he was secretly planning to go to a rave?) so we put them to use by duct-taping them to each paddle blade. Then I had him put a headlamp on backwards to produce the white-light streak that added another electric element to water in the picture. At first, he paddled too fast and the light didn’t properly register on the sensor. So we slowed things down over a 30-second exposure while I beat the well-stoked fire with a stick to make a few dynamic spark trails. It took us about 6 takes but we ended up with this shot, one of my favorite paddling images from the past few years.

Location: Wells Gray Provincial Park, Clearwater, British Columbia. September 2011.

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