How to create special photo effects with a light stencil

Find out how a light stencil can put Bambi -- or anything else you can dream up -- in your photos.
Find out how a light stencil can put Bambi -- or anything else you can dream up -- in your pictures. Photo: Janelle Pietrzak

Photography is all about light, and photographers are all about light painting. There are many tricks to try, from isolating objects with incandescence outside the frame to shining light directly at the camera as in Janelle Pietrzak’s Bambi series, created using light stencils.

Creating this interesting analog photo effect doesn’t require any special equipment, just a detachable flash, some craft materials and a lot of imagination.

Analog photo technique brings Bambi to life

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Look who decided to wake up!

My new pet...

Get down you naughty deer!

Bambi is not so good at fetch!

Bambi is not so good at fetch!

He always makes such funny faces! So cute!

Always up to no good!

Bambi dreams of Tad...

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My little prancing man!

Hide and go seek! LOL!

Bambi spies the blue mouse cat toy!

Bambi and the first hints of spring! Finally warm enough to take him outside.

Splicing a cute little animal into a photograph doesn’t take more than a few seconds for anybody with a copy of Photoshop.

But Colorado artist Janelle Pietrzak spends hours cutting light stencils with a razor blade, then uses a shoebox and long-exposure photography to bring Bambi and other cuddly creatures to life inside her home.

“If you look at my photographs there is fantasy world full of mythical creatures, floating orbs, ghosts and goddesses, all created by manipulating light,” Pietrzak tells Cult of Mac. “The catch is that I hardly use any Adobe Photoshop. What you see in the images is basically what I saw on the back of my camera.”

Kick Your Photos Up A Notch With Effects In iPhoto for iPad [iOS Tips]

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iPhotoEffects

iPhoto has several Special Effects ready to play with, accessed with a tap on the little sparkly icon, the fifth from the left in the lower left corner of iPhoto on the iPad. Tap that, and a fan of special effects swatches will rise up from the bottom of the screen. There are six filters there, including Warm & cool, Duotone, Black & White, Aura, Vintage. and Artistic. Tap on a swatch you’d like to apply, and then tap or drag along the strip to select the effect that you prefer. Many of the filters can be further tweaked by pinching or dragging around in the photo itself. For example, the Vignette effect, found at the right within the Black & White strip, can be enlarged with a pinching out gesture, and moved around to a new center point with a simple drag. Play around and have fun here. Tap the question mark icon at the top for a tooltip for each of the effect swatches.