Editor’s Note: Each week we’ll be featuring members of the Photofocus community.  Part of our New Year’s resolution is to focus on new and emerging talent.  As such, Melissa Niu will personally select images from our readers and feature them here on Photofocus.


In this, now 3 1/2 years old experiment, I wanted to offer a sense of ”traveling in a waking dream state”, kind of like when you’re traveling by car at night, day dreaming, letting your eyes wander out the window with no real focus.

The scene was some distant lights from a bus garage across a narrow portion of the lake that divides the small town, where I live and which provided me with some nice reflections.

The shot was made with what you might call ”reversed light painting”, as the lights were fixed and the painting action was made with the camera. I had my underarms rested on the balcony railing of my house, aiming the shot via live view, going totally blind during the exposure.

I used some slight camera shake, trying to introduce an amount of organic motion to the shot, adding a jerky zooming action to seemingly multiply the light points along the light trails as every little stop rendered a virtual light on the sensor. Getting the right amount of these two aspects at the same time was a real challenge and had me make slightly less than a 100 shots, constantly reviewing my progress and altering my technique.

It was made with a Panasonic G1 mirrorless with a 45-200mm (90-400mm FF eq.) tele zoom lens, starting the shot at around 80(160)mm with manual focus (slightly out of focus). Exposure times for the about 5-10 most successful shots varied between 1-6 seconds, being 5 seconds for this particular one. All editing was done in Lightroom.

— Stephane Jean



To see more of Stephane’s work head to and follow him on Google+.

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About MelissaNiu

Melissa Niu is a storyteller at heart. Niu's work ranges from her Broadcast Journalism experience at NBC in Seattle to her recent work as a co-founder and host of the photography platform, [FRAMED] Network. Her passion for photography, music and journalistic skills harvests into a massive need to tell a good story. As a mother of three daughters and running multiple businesses, Niu is constantly seeking balance, health, laughter and progression.


Featured Photo, Fine Art, Your Focus