Gala Star Mandala

Gala Star Mandala
Gala Star Mandala / 2013 / Terry Long

This is one of my more complex Mandalas, using 24 coloured LED lights to draw with, and 18 digital layers and sections, plus some post production with photoshop.

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Close up section


Diffracted Light Alchemy

Diffracted Light Alchemy.e
Diffracted Light Alchemy / 2013 / Terry Long

Using a lensless Nikon D700 digital full size sensor camera, and the same sherry glass as in the last posting, this image was taken closer to the ornate cut section of the glass using a single LED light source. The exposure was 1.5 seconds, and the colours were manipulated with photoshop to add some contrast and dynamics.

Lensless Photography

Defracted Light No.1
Diffracted Light Mandala No.1 / 2013 / Terry Long

Bell Labs announced back in June that they had built a lensless camera that uses a compressive sensing technique. You can find more information about the process here…  Although not the same method as Bell Labs, my image above was also made using a camera without a lens. After removing the lens from my digital camera, and setting the exposure to about 2 seconds on manual mode, I placed a finely cut sherry glass close to the camera sensor. I then shone a LED light at the glass, which diffracted the light onto the sensor. I tried different positions for the glass and varied the exposures, while also moving the light. The best result was then cropped and mirrored into a mandala design using photoshop with one or two different filters to accentuate the colours. This process is very hit or miss, so tends to take many exposures to get the desired effect.

Defracting the light.eDiffracting the Light onto the camera sensor 


Fleeting Light

Mountain Pass copy

Mountain Pass / 2013 / Terry Long

I wish I was able to tell a story of a daring trek to some far flung mountain peak to capture this photograph above, but alas it was taken from the comfort of my house through the front living room window!  The photograph reminds me of some the atmospheric and impressionistic paintings created by the great landscape painter Joseph Mallord William Turner, such as the one of Hannibal and his army crossing the Alps. Turner, who would often paint the subject of light in a very mystical  and abstract way, was a great influence on Monet and the impressionists. To capture the fleeting clouds and light for my photograph of San Gorgonio Mountain in Southern California, I used a Nikon D700 with a 150 – 500mm Tokina lens, which was mounted on my trusty rusty tripod. The exposure was f11 at 250th of a second.


Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps / exhibited 1812 / Joseph Mallord William Turner  

Arabesque No.3

Arabesque No.3
Arabesque No.3 / 2013 / Terry Long

I have a passion for symmetry and radiating patterns, which can  be found in both design and music. They sometimes have a therapeutic effect, bringing a sense of balance, stillness and well being.  Arabesque No.3 started in a very simple way when I noticed the light on some red louvre blinds and made a close photograph on my Canon S95.

Louvre blind

Close – up photo of louvre blind 

Repeated design

By using the tiling method of step and repeat, rotate and reflect design, plus some photoshop effects such as solarization and glowing edges, I was eventually able to complete the design.

Painting with Sunlight

Prismatic Mandala 2
Prismatic Mandala 2 / 2013 / Terry Long

Prismatic Mandala was painted with sunlight. Not with some brand of paint named sunlight, but real sunlight. By holding a glass prism, and directing the light into a darkened area of the studio onto a flat surface, I was able to paint a section of the above image while being recorded digitally on a Nikon D700 camera with a 28 – 105 mm Nikon lens. Although there were many tests before I got the right effect, the exposure was just 8 seconds long at f22. I used 10 layers and sections, plus the step and repeat method to complete the design with Photoshop.


Dawn / 2013 / Terry Long

This meditational image titled Dawn consists of 16 digital layers and sections, including the mirrored landscape taken from my back garden in Southern California with a Canon S95. The repeating and expanding mandalas in the sky were drawn and painted with light and recorded with a Nikon D700, mounted with a 12 –  35 mm lens. The exposure was 12 seconds at f22.