The Perfect Shot

When is light painting so much more than light painting? How about when it's the perfect (golf) shot—an incredible composition by Dan Durakovich?

My partner and I failed to find sparklers in time for our shoot so we fell back on old steel wool. Hopefully that doesn't DQ us, especially since sparklers would have made our lives much easier! So we trekked out to a solitary beach in Malibu in the middle of the night and set up camp. We stuck a makeshift flag in the sand, wrapped some golf balls in the steel wool, framed it all up and then "Action". My pal sparked the steel wool, hit the remote shutter button, ran over to camera-right to light up our "green" with a flashlight while I pitched the fireball towards the flag. The shot was a 4 second exposure at f2.5 and 800 ISO. The second part of the shot was freezing me post-swing. We taped some more steel wool on the club head and I took a few swings. We used a speedlight set to rear curtain flash with a 1/6 second exposure so we got the full light streak, followed by a frozen follow through. Shot on my Nikon D600 and the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lens.

Did I read that correctly? Did Dan actually hit sparking golf balls through the air? How dangerously awesome.

We'd say it was a shame that Dan's was one of our only entries to this week's "Spark" Shooting Challenge, but luckily for us all, he submitted one of the best photos we've featured to date.

Look for a new Shooting Challenge tomorrow. And keep those photos coming in!