Have you ever noticed how the most compelling photographic evidence for UFOs and UAPs often falls short in the realm of quality photography? It’s almost as if these mysterious visitors have a bad case of the “I don’t look good in pictures” syndrome, a plight familiar to many photographers. It seems unjust that such advanced beings from other worlds and dimensions are so poorly represented in high-quality photos. Today, we’re going to change that narrative. We’re on a mission to create better pictures of UFOs, UAPs and NHI of the toy photography kind, using simple yet effective techniques with Halumin, powered by a single speedlight and two mini cube light LEDs.
Step 1: Assembling Your Intergalactic Toolkit
Halumin™ H18 Freestyle Set: Your primary light source, offering versatile lighting options.
1 Speed Light: To power your Halumin for sharp Open Cylindrical™ light.
2 Mini Cube Lights (with color gel and a straw): For dynamic, colored lighting effects.
Toy UFO and Cow: Essential props for your extraterrestrial scene.
Activated Charcoal: To create a dark, mysterious ground surface.
Window Screen: For crafting a surreal, textured sky backdrop.
Misting Machine: To add atmospheric fog to your scene.
Step 2: Setting the Stage for an Alien Encounter
Position the Halumin H18: Set it up with its accessory legs, leaning against a table to create a space for your cow (foreground) and UFO (background). The H18 should be powered by a single speedlight installed on the side closest to the flying saucer.
Create the Ground: Spread activated charcoal in a tray or some small surface that you can maneuver within the H18 staging area. Stand your cow in the center, ensuring a dark and mysterious setting for this otherworldly scene.
Install the Window Screen sky: Bend it with ripples and hang it in the background, uplit with a red LED for a surreal sky effect.
Prepare your mini light painting wand: The second mini LED cube light will need some sort of a wand attached to it to make the laser effect. I used a blue drinking straw taped to the snoot attachment of the LED, but you could also fashion one from a flashlight or other small bright light source. Get creative if you don’t have any of these exact tools.
Place the Misting Machine: This small misting device should strategically add fog to the scene, enhancing the eerie, otherworldly feel of your composition. I mainly used it for a wafting ground effect but there are many other possibilities with the right placement and venting. It does slop a little water around so be aware of that when you are working with it.
Step 3: Capturing the Sighting
Place Your Props: Position the toy cow on the charcoal surface and hang the UFO above it, creating a scene of impending abduction.
Camera Settings: The light in your shooting space should be as dark as possible so that you can light the scene with a long exposure mixing your LEDs and Halumin flash without much other light interference. The long exposure should be around 3 seconds to capture both the flash and the movement of the Cube lights. Make sure to set a manual focus on your subject (either the cow or the sauce). Use an aperture that allows for a good focus on your subject but a nice blurr on the screen in the background. In my composition I opted for a very shallow F2.8 focused on the Cow on the horizontal composition and the Saucer for the vertical one. The brightness of LED lights is going to differ so the main thing you want to accomplish is proper exposure of your LED background and light painting wand within a 2-3 second exposure time. Then set your flash to add the right amount of light to that.
Light Painting: During the exposure, use the Cube lights wand to create a streaking beam of light emanating from the saucer to the cow. You will have to play with the placement and movement to get the timing right.
Step 7: Enhancing the Truth
Basic Adjustments: Fine-tune color, contrast, and brightness to enhance the mood of your image and remove any supports or unwanted elements. Although the goal is to capture as much in-camera as possible, there is no shame in a little bit of clean up.
Composite if you want to: In the last image I captured a swirl from some fairy lights that I composited into the frame. This was not an essential part of the image but it was a fun test for added sparkle and mystery.
#UFOTwitter Here you Come!
Congratulations! You’ve just created a captivating UFO encounter using a simple Halumin lighting setup. With these steps, you can experiment and craft various narratives, from mysterious abductions to peaceful alien encounters. Remember, in toy photography, your imagination is your only limit. So, keep exploring, keep shooting, and who knows what other interstellar scenes you’ll capture next!