Mastering Skills and Lightpainting with Mr. Gnome

So – if I could master any skill instantly what would it be?  I should say making decisions… because even with this hypothetical question, I’m finding myself going back and forth quite a bit.  But the first answer that came to my mind was playing a musical instrument – probably piano.  I’ve always craved the ability to play music and I’ve taken lessons a few times – both in guitar and piano, but I haven’t really stuck with it.  It would be awesome to just be an amazing piano player instantly without all the practice and learning from scratch!

The runners up were:

  • Meditation – I figure this skill would lead to the mastering of many other things – like peace of mind, concentration, body/mind connection, intuition, patience, self awareness, etc… now that I think about it, maybe this one should be first.  Hmmmm.
  • Language – I would love to be multilingual.  I enjoy language, I enjoy traveling all over the world and I enjoy communicating with people from other cultures.
  • Entrepreneurial Skills/Business-Savvy – I feel like I am full of ideas and I’d love to be naturally good at knowing exactly what to do to make these ideas work for me!

Thanks to those of you who shared your answers with me!  The question initially came from WordPress’s daily inspiration post (an idea-starter for bloggers) so I’ll continue to share any with you that spark interest in me!

Meanwhile, last night Adam helped me out with my first attempt at a light painting photo.  We shut ourselves up in the bathroom (the only place where we can achieve total darkness).  It was the two of us, the tripod and Mr. Gnome here, squeezed into our tiny bathroom.  It was also midnight.  I am going to buy a stealth little penlight for doing these in the future, but this time, I just used a flashlight I had laying around the apartment.  Here he is…

Photo 355 out of 365 – “Lightpainting With Mr. Gnome”

"Lightpainting With Mr. Gnome" - Settings: ISO 100, f/4.5, 30 seconds, 50mm lens


After some trial and error, this is the best one we got… not perfect, but not too bad for the first try.

Here’s what we did:

  1. Set up the gnome where we wanted him for the shot
  2. Set the focus
  3. Changed from auto focus to manual focus (so the lens wouldn’t search for focus once we turned out the lights)
  4. Set the exposure with a low ISO, a fairly wide aperture and a long exposure of thirty seconds
  5. Set the camera to self-timer mode (two seconds)
  6. Turned out the lights and got the flashlight ready
  7. Pressed the shutter
  8. While the shutter was open for the thirty seconds, I’d quickly sweep the gnome with the light from the flashlight – once from one direction, then I’d turn it off and go behind the camera (so as not to get in the way of the shot) and sweep again with some light from the other direction.

And that’s it!

This is totally FUN!  It’s almost like developing photos in the dark room.  I’m excited to get the pen light and practice some more. Now I just have to find another dark space because it’s kind of a drag doing it in my bathroom!


4 thoughts on “Mastering Skills and Lightpainting with Mr. Gnome

  1. Hi Nell
    I found this quote that reminded me of your post.
    “Who’s your enemy? Your own doubt and duality. Who’s your friend? Faith. Your own self and your faith.” Yogi Bhajan

    I only remembered it because I too would like to master making decisions 🙂

    • thanks Zita – yeah, that stupid voice of doubt…it’s true. it definitely makes things more complicated. good quote. thanks for sharing. so is the secret just learning to ignore your doubt? that seems like a learnable process. 🙂

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