Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: LASERS

Pew pew. Click. Click. For this week's Shooting Challenge, you'll be unleashing lasers.


The Challenge

Take a photo that incorporates lasers somehow. WARNING: Use caution where you shine it.


The Technique

Many of you will be tempted to try light painting, and that's fine. Lasers have a very specific point to make well-outlined subjects. But lasers are also pretty cool unto themselves. This flickr group is a perfect source of ideas for constructing shots that feature the laser beam itself as the subject. Some are narratives, others are pure abstraction.

The only real rule to shooting is that, even a simple laser beam shot will benefit from longer exposures. Try 8 seconds and work your way up from there, as needed.


The Example

Our lead shot is by flickr's mabbink. It was taken on a freaking iPhone, which is a bit humbling, as this epic moment was likely captured without any preplanning or extra long exposure tricks, thanks to industrial lasers and what looks like a healthy dose of fog machine. What a fantastic silhouette...I hope he shared the shot with the couple.


The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced (read more on that above).
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. I know that your photo may not fall into those exact high rez dimensions, so whatever native resolution you're using is fine.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, March 12th at 10AM Eastern to with "Laser" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameLaser.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameLaserWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!

Mark Wilson is the founder of Philanthroper, a daily deal site for nonprofits.


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