This present moment in time I find myself in quite an interesting set of scenarios. I know that within a few weeks I will have a brand new camera to max out my photography skills, though at the same time my skills with lightpainting has increased exponentially. No longer is my best work limited to just fire. I keep doing research and learn new techniques each day, and I have been testing them out to much great success.
Last week I had the privilege of demonstrating several of my lightpainting techniques live at Offbeat's Damn The Man event in Midtown. Offbeat, in my opinion is one of Jackson's great gems, and I owe a lot of my growth as an artist to the support I have received from Venom and the Midtown crew through events like Final Friday, so this, in a way was an act in which I could give back to the community. Numerous people came and participated in my alley lightpaintings. As usual, the flaming steel wool managed to draw a crowd, though I was able to find people interested in some of my other work.
The work that I am doing now is a continuation of everything I have done up to this point, though with some tweaks and modifications. Up until about a month ago all of my work was being edited on my Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone, and while an excellent device in its own right, the time had come for me to finally invest in some professional hardware and software. I am absolutely in love with this new computer (the first I have had in 3 years, my previous computer was stolen from my old apartment) and so far it has definitely upped my game. I am always striving to deliver the very best quality work no matter what medium I am engaging myself with, and everything at my disposal has upped the ante by tenfold. As I continue to make myself more familiar with these new tools, I will keep my promise and continually improve the quality of my images and make them the absolute best possible.
Another development which has occurred recently is my acquisition of a remote shutter release for my camera. This tool allows me much greater control over my camera settings and gives me much more creative freedom in my lightpaintings. I am no longer constrained to having to manually press the camera in order for a shot to occur. Now, I can open and close the shutter with a press of my remote button, allowing me to go into exposures much longer than the 30 seconds I was previously limited to shooting. With bulb mode being controlled by the remote, I can now take my exposure time into the minutes, leaving my shutter open for a much longer period of time than I previously had the capability of performing. The longer exposures I can take now will be able to include many more elements within the images than those prior. Now, my work as a lightpainting artist can truly begin. Watch as my work becomes more complex.
I suppose even after all these advancements I find myself still going still going back to the fire even after all this time. Tonight while doing some steel wool lightpaintings I had a chance occurrence which helped me learn a brand new technique. While spinning, I had the string tied to my whisk come undone, flying completely attached across the room. Fortunately, the exposure was still going, and instead of retying my string I decided to grab the end of the whisk and control it as a sort of writing utensil. I was able to gather several images doing this type of movement and I was very pleased with the results. In a way the movements were very similar to what I have been doing with flashlights and my lightpainting brushes, though at times I still was able to get the added effect of having sparks coming off from the hot, flaming core.
My online presence is now also becoming more complex. As of today with some final tweaks I felt confident enough to publish this long-overdue website. Just in time for Black Friday of all things! My journey to getting a website (in the same manner as acquiring a computer) has also been tenuous. Initial bids I had with web developers were much overpriced for what they offered. The majority of options I checked into gave me nothing more than a glorified online PowerPoint. "What is the advantage of having a website?" I kept asking myself after each such meeting. "I need something extra and original to give people that they cannot already find on social media." Fast forward to today, and now here we are after almost a year and a half of waiting and my website has now been published to the Internet.
This website is the culmination of almost two years worth of work as an artist. With publishing this I wanted to reach a certain level of confidence before I felt like I could set up my own personal online space. Everything that you see has been designed and put in place by myself, and arranged over countless hours of work. Being someone who is very detail-oriented, I will continue to strive to make this website www.tjlegler.com into the best possible online experience. Part of that comes from a bit of trial and error, so with this being a very new launch and an area I am still learning I ask for all visiting to bear with me as I work out the last final tweaks in order to make your experienced on my website as smooth as possible.
I'd like to thank all of you who took the time to read this and by visiting this website for helping my dream to grow. I never thought I would end up in a position to be using my creativity to add to our collective culture, but nevertheless I am thrilled and honored. I hope to see each of you soon, and I will keep my promise in delivering you guys the best content possible!