Lo Gas Eat: Long Exposure Night Photo with Light Painting

4759_kenlee_2016-10-14_0103_barstow-94sf8iso200-halloransprings-lo-gas-eat-backlit-1000pxPlease click on the photo to view it larger and more clearly!  Thanks!

 Lo Gas Eat (4759)
Signs at an abandoned highway stop, Halloran Springs, CA, backlit by a bright moon. Illuminated by a handheld ProtoMachines LED2 flashlight and a full moon.

This is a real photo taken at night. This evening, everything was illuminated by a big bright moon, an almost full moon, almost bright enough to read a book. And setting the camera to a long exposure made the camera much more sensitive to light than our eyes on this already bright evening. This is why this photo seems brighter than what we might see at night. It is not due to post-processing. The moon, which reflects light from the sun, also makes the sky bluer, and when the photo is a long exposure photo, the sky will appear brighter, making the blue more apparent. I also illuminated the sign with a handheld LED flashlight while the camera shutter was open. In a rare move, I did remove a distracting telephone pole that just licked into the lower part of the photo, but otherwise, did not alter this photo.

I am fascinated with how a single long exposure photo can show movements and the cumulative effects of light in a single image. Thank you for reading this and looking at the image. -Ken

Nikon D610/14-24mm f/2.8, 94s @ f/8 ISO 200 Oct 2016.

#‎nightphotography‬ ‪#‎night ‬‪#‎lightpainting‬ ‪‬ ‪#‎abandoned‬ ‪#‎california‬ #kenlee #fotografianocturna #pinturadeluz #abandonado #MyRRS #feisol #noche #luna #moon #ruins #urbex #urbanexploration #desert #awesomeearth #awesomeglobe #beautifuldestinations #WeOwnTheNight_CA #shutterbugpix #nikon #halloransprings #mojavedesert

Long Exposure Night Photo with Light Painting

VISIT ME, VISIT ME!
You can see more of these photos here  on my Ken Lee Photography Facebook Page (poke your head in, say hi, and “like” the page if you would, uh, like), on 500px, or my Ken Lee Google+ Page. We discuss long exposure, night sky, star trails, and coastal long exposure photography, as well as lots of other things, so I hope you can join us!

And you can go to the Ken Lee Photography website, which has more photos from Ken Lee.  Thank you very much for visiting!

 

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Disarming Dino: Long Exposure Night Photo with Light Painting

4107kenlee_2016-07-17_0419_joshuatree_applevalley-dinosaurs_283sf8iso200-800pxtallPlease click on the photo to view it larger and more clearly!  Thanks!

 Disarming Dino (4107): Long Exposure Night Photo with Light Painting
This is one of several concrete dinosaurs that was the beginning of a miniature golf course in the Mojave Desert. Begun in the early ’70s by Lonnie Coffman with the help of Air Force serviceman Gregory Wicker, the project was abandoned. But the concrete dinosaurs remain. My friend Dave Dasinger and I came here on a warm summer night.

This is a real photo taken at night. This evening, everything was illuminated by a big bright moon, an almost full moon, almost bright enough to read a book. And setting my tripod-mounted camera to a long exposure made the camera much more sensitive to light than our eyes on this already bright evening. This is why this photo seems brighter than what we might see at night. It is not due to post-processing. The moon, which reflects light from the sun, also makes the sky bluer, and when the photo is a long exposure photo, the sky will appear brighter, making the blue more apparent. I illuminated the dinosaur with a hand-held ProtoMachines LED flashlight. This is not a post-processing creation. No pixels were harmed during the creation of this photo. 😀

I am fascinated with how a single long exposure photo can show movements and the cumulative effects of light in a single image. Thank you for reading this and looking at the image. -Ken You are encouraged to “share” on FB if you are wish. Thanks!

Geek stuff: Nikon D610/14-24mm f/2.8 lens. 2016-07-17 283s f/8 ISO 200.

#kenleephotography #kenlee #awesomeearth #awesomeglobe #beautifuldestinations #WeOwnTheNight_CA #shutterbugpix #nikon #largaexposicion #longexposure #lightpainting #pinturadeluz #fotografianocturna #nightphotography #‎darksky‬ ‪#‎darkskycommunity‬ ‪#‎nightsky‬ #astrophotography #timelapse #protomachines #feisol #nikon #MyRRS #mojave #mojavedesert #dinosaurs #mojavedesert

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Long Exposure Night Photo with Light Painting

VISIT ME, VISIT ME!
You can see more of these photos here  on my Ken Lee Photography Facebook Page (poke your head in, say hi, and “like” the page if you would, uh, like), on 500px, or my Ken Lee Google+ Page. We discuss long exposure, night sky, star trails, and coastal long exposure photography, as well as lots of other things, so I hope you can join us!

And you can go to the Ken Lee Photography website, which has more photos from Ken Lee.  Thank you very much for visiting!

 

How To Make Killer Light Painting Photos Today!

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M-Class Planet

Light Painting
First, let’s get this out of the way.  I love light painting.  It’s a creative, active, experimental sort of photography.  And a lot of fun.  The hours melt away.  But what is it?  It’s a long exposure photographic technique in which the photographer moves a light source, – or sometimes the camera itself – to create the exposure. I like to use light painting to illuminate objects at night, lighting from outside the frame, although I also sometimes like to “paint” light into the lens as well.  Since we’re just gonna show you one photo, I’ll select one that shows both!

Stuff We Need
– We need a camera.  But you knew that, didn’t you?  And ideally, one that allows you to determine how long to keep the shutter open, and preferably, one with Bulb Mode, and accepts a remote shutter release.  I use a DSLR, but I’ve had friends use a compact digital camera or film cameras to do this.  What matters is that you can determine the length you wish to keep the shutter open.

– A remote shutter release.  Why?  To avoid any movement of the camera.  Even minuscule movement can ruin your photo.

– A stable surface.   If you’re gonna leave your shutter open for several minutes, you’re need a rock solid surface.  Out in the field, ideally, you’ll want to use a good tripod.  Giotto, Manfrotto, Gitzo, and others make good tripods.  I use a Feisol.  I like lightweight carbon fiber tripods because I do a lot of walking around and hiking.  As always, your mileage may vary, yes it may.  Now, if you’re gonna move the camera around, that’s a ‘nother thing, but today, I’m discussing techniques involving keeping the camera perfectly still.  If it’s windy and your tripod has a center hook, hang your camera bag or some such thing in the middle to further stabilize it so that camera that someone purchased for your previous birthday doesn’t fall on the ground and shatter.  That would suck.

– A light source or three.  Flashlights, headlamps, car headlights, glow sticks, matches, candles, LED lights, stuff like that.

One of my flashlights is an absurdly bright flashlight, a Dorcy spotlight.  I can light paint stuff from 10, 20 meters away. The Dorcy is almost like holding a car headlight in your hand.  Whazaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!  Fun!!  And another thing I like to use is El Wire.  El Wire?  Yeah, El Wire.  This is not Spanish for wire, no it isn’t.  It’s short for electroluminescent wire.  El wire is a copper wire coated in a phosphor, you see, and when you add juice from batteries, voila, it starts to glow!  And in different colors!  If you don’t get one for light painting, you could go to a rave or tie it around as part of a costume!!  Oh, the fun!  And this stuff is easily available online, including Amazon.com.  And it’s cheap. Cheap.  Fun. Artistic.  Whaddaya waitin’ for?

Camera Settings:  
As mentioned, I use a DSLR.  You’ll want to use Manual Mode so you can control the exposure time.  Flip that to whatever you want.  For this particular photo, I used Bulb Mode.  This means that if I lock my remote shutter release, my shutter will stay open until I unlock the remote shutter release.  Cool, eh?  But you can also set your camera to 15, 20, 25, 30 seconds, whatever it has.

 How The Heck Do You Focus In The Dark?
Well, look, if you’re one of those persnickety photographers who actually wishes to have their subject in focus, then read on!!  The easiest way to do this is to use your camera’s auto focus.  I know you’re thinking, “Buh-buh-but it’s dark!  And my camera’s gonna hunt!  It can’t focus when it’s really dark!!!”  And you’d be right!  But no worries.  Since you’re all ready to light paint anyway, take one of those really bright lights you have, shine it at the subject, and let your camera’s AF do its thing.  When it has focused, carefully carefully switch your camera’s auto focus off, switching it instead to Manual Focus, so that it’s pre-focused.  Voila.  Done.  See, wasn’t that easy?

Look how much you’ve learned already!  You know how to set your camera, how to focus, you know how to light up your subject in the dark!!  So next, let’s check out a photo that shows both light painting outside the frame – illuminating the subject – as well as shining not one but two kinds of light into the lens directly.  I used several light sources.  Let’s discuss how I used each one!

1.  Rings Around The Stone:  You can see three red rings around the stone, yes you can.  These are from my Energizer headlamp.  I set it to the red light setting, held it up high, and walked around the stone three times!  Wheeee!!  Why three?  Uh, why not?  For representing past, present, and future?

2.  Illuminating The Stone:  I took that big yellow Dorcy spotlight, ran up to some rocks some 10 meters away and to the left, and pointed it at the rock, waving it around to illuminate it evenly.  I think about how I want the stone and so forth to be illuminated, and in this case, since it was a full moon, I wanted to emulate how the moonlight was falling on the rock so it would look very natural.  This giant flashlight is bright, so it doesn’t take much to light up the rock, even from 10 meters away.

3.  Blue Mist:  That’s where the El Wire comes in.  My El Wire 2.75 meters of glowing blue goodness. I activated it at the battery pack, then waved it around the base of the stone, almost as if I were sweeping the sand, waving it up and down.  If you kept the wire still for a while, the shape of the wire would “imprint” on your image.  I wanted more of an otherworldly mist, so I moved it around.

This whole process took 199 seconds.  If you’re bad at math, that’s three minutes and 19 seconds.  And it went by quickly!!!  I ran and moved around a bit.  Active, creative, fun photography.  And moving around was doubly good because this was taken in the high California desert in winter, and the temperature was at about freezing.  But moving around kept me warm.

I hope this inspires you to try your own light painting and long exposure photos.  Take night sky photos, light paint, do long exposures.  Do all three.  Experiment.  Have fun!

Note:  I originally wrote this for Better Photographs!

Title: M- Class Planet
Info: Nikon D7000, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens, Feisol tripod. Exposure time 199 seconds at f/11, ISO 200. Combination of natural lighting from the full moon and light painting with a flashlight, a red headlamp held high, and blue electroluminescent wire.
Photographer: Ken Lee
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA.

This is Ken Lee’s photography website:  http://www.kenleephotography

This is Ken Lee’s Photography Facebook Page:  http://www.facebook.com/kenleephotography

This is Ken Lee’s Photography Blog, featuring long exposure, night sky, star trails, light painting photographs: https://kenleephotography.wordpress.com

This is a link Ken Lee’s Virtual Photo Album, featuring more night sky, long exposure, and light painting photos from his trip to Joshua Tree National Park in California in December 2012: http://www.elevenshadows.com/travels/joshuatree2012december

Note:  I originally wrote this for someone across the pond.  They use this system that we Americans call the metric system.  Instead of odd arbitrary things like “12 inches to a foot” and “three feet in a yard”, their system is logically based on ten.  Ten millimeters in a centimeter.  A hundred centimeters in a meter.  See?  Easy!

But anyway, I used the term “meters” here.  Divide by three and you’ll have the approximate amount of feet for the distances discussed.  See?  Easy.  Now you can show off and impress your American, and who knows, maybe impress that friendly European that sits across from you in in your classroom or cubicle.

 

 

 

Light Painting at Night in Joshua Tree: Martian Flying Saucer Landing (Because February is Joshua Tree Month Here at Ken Lee Photography!)

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The Guardian of Forever

That’s right. Continuing with February Joshua Tree Month.  Because I can.

This is actually in Yucca Valley, not in Joshua Tree.  But close enough.  No one from the Park is gonna berate me for this.

So how did I create this UFO through “light painting”, you ask?

I used El Wire. Like I mentioned last week, this ain’t Spanish for wire, no it isn’t.  It’s short for electroluminescent wire.  El wire is a copper wire coated in a phosphor, you see, and when you add juice from batteries, voila, it starts to glow!  Cheap, easy, you can get anywhere.  I chose blue El Wire because blue screams “I am extraterrestrial” to me.  And it should to you too. I just simply waved the wire over each of the supports, and also created the glowing globe on the top because I figure flying saucers should have a glowing globe on the top of their dome.

Light Painting:  I used an absurdly bright flashlight, a Dorcy, “light painting” the landscape from probably about 25-30 feet away, from the left side.  I tried to imitate the lovely way the full moon was falling on the rock and tree so it would look very natural. The Dorcy is almost like holding a car headlight in your hand.  Whazaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!  Fun!!  This was a 478-second exposure.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Joshua Tree month here at Ken Lee Photography, where we featured photos of this remarkable desert region.  But not just any photos.  Here, we’re crazy about long exposure photos.  And night sky photos.  And “light painting”.  And this entire month, that’s what we delivered, just for you.

You can tell I just love this stuff, can’t you?  😀

Title: Martian Flying Saucer Landing
Info: Nikon D7000, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens, Feisol tripod. Exposure time 478 seconds at f/10, ISO 200. Light painting with a flashlight and blue electroluminescent wire.
Photographer: Ken Lee
Location: Yucca Valley, California, USA.

 

 

Light Painting at Night in Joshua Tree: M-Class Planet (Because February is Joshua Tree Month Here at Ken Lee Photography!)

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M-Class Planet

That’s right. Continuing with February Joshua Tree Month.  Because I can.

What’s going on here?  What’s with the funny blue mist at the bottom?  Or the rings around the stone?  And what’s with the “Star Trek” titles?

Sci-Fi Titles:  Last one first.  Joshua Tree is otherworldly.  Feels like an alien landscape.  And definitely when you see stones like this, jutting out of the earth.  Wow!  And it also felt like Alfa 177.

You see, Alfa 177 is an insanely geeky reference to a Star Trek episode called “The Enemy Within”, in which a transporter malfunction on the U.S.S. Enterprise trapped Lt. Sulu’s landing party on the surface of Class M planet Alfa 177 overnight during freezing cold that left some suffering severe frostbite. While I didn’t have a phaser to heat rocks, I also didn’t have to sleep overnight during -120 Celsius temperatures. And I didn’t get split into two entities, one good and one bad, so it was all good. And to add to the sci-fi vibe, much of these photos were edited while listening to Brian Eno’s “On Land”, “Apollo”, and “Another Green World” to continue how I felt to be outside at night taking these photos.

Funny Blue Mist:  Yeah, what’s that about?  It’s El Wire.

El Wire?

Yeah, El Wire.  This is not Spanish for wire, no it isn’t.  It’s short for electroluminescent wire.  El wire is a copper wire coated in a phosphor, you see, and when you add juice from batteries, voila, it starts to glow!  And in different colors!  If you don’t get one for “light painting”, you could go to a rave or tie it around as part of a costume!!  Oh, the fun!  And this stuff is easily available online, including Amazon.com.  And it’s cheap. Cheap.  Fun. Artistic.  Whaddaya waitin’ for?

So I took this El Wire and wave it around the base of the stone, walking around it several times.  Kept me nice and warm since it was freezing out.

Rings Around The Stone:  You can see three red rings around the stone, yes you can.  These are from my Energizer headlamp.  I set it to the red light setting, held it up high, and walked around the stone three times!  Wheeee!!  Why three?  Uh, why not?  For representing past, present, and future?

Light Painting:  I used an absurdly bright flashlight, a Dorcy, “light painting” the rock and tree from probably about 25 feet away, from the left side.  I tried to imitate the lovely way the full moon was falling on the rock so it would look very natural. The Dorcy is almost like holding a car headlight in your hand.  Whazaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!  Fun!!  This was a 199-second exposure.  Next week, we’ll feature an longer exposure with a different example of “light painting”, one that’s rather extraterrestrial in nature!!!!!

All this fun activity took 199 seconds.  If you’re bad at math, that’s three minutes and 19 seconds.  And it went by quickly!!!

So as you can tell, this month, we’re gonna be featuring photos of Joshua Tree.  But not just any photos.  Here, we’re crazy about long exposure photos.  And night sky photos.  And “light painting”.  And so this month, we’re going to feature photos of Joshua Tree that have all of this!!!

You can tell I just love this stuff, can’t you?  😀

Title: M- Class Planet
Info: Nikon D7000, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens, Feisol tripod. Exposure time 199 seconds at f/11, ISO 200. Combination of natural lighting from the full moon and light painting with a flashlight, a red headlamp held high, and blue electroluminescent wire.
Photographer: Ken Lee
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA.

 

 

Long Exposure Night Sky Photos in Joshua Tree: Tower of Mordor (Because February is Joshua Tree Month Here at Ken Lee Photography!)

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The Tower of Mordor

Yeah. February Joshua Tree Month.  So good.  So right.

Rock photo with “light painted” goodness.  What’d I use?  I used an absurdly bright flashlight, a Dorcy, “light painting” the rock from probably about 25 feet away, from the side.  The Dorcy is almost like holding a car headlight in your hand.  Whazaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!  Fun!!  This was a 25-second exposure.  I ran to the left, waved the flashlight wildly around on the rock, and managed to keep warm this way.

The observant among you might notice some patterns this month. One is why I keep running to the left (or right) to “light paint” instead of doin’ it straight on.  I did this because sometimes, i was mimicking how the light of the full moon was falling on the subject.  But I also did this because if the light is coming from the side, it reveals more of the texture of the rock.  Look at the photo.  You can almost reach out and touch the texture on the rock.  I love that!

As for the other patterns?  Well, we’ve got this funny science fiction/fantasy title thing going on this month.  I like running around to keep warm.  And I like to have fun.  But you knew that, didn’t you?

As the month goes on, I’ll show you different examples of “light painting” that are longer and more involved!!  You don’t wanna miss this, so subscribe to this blog.  You’ll be happy you did.  And you can ask me questions in the comments section.  Or even offer praise.  Or dolma.  Or sing me a song.

All this beautiful month, we’re featuring photos of Joshua Tree.  But not just any photos.  Here, we’re crazy about long exposure photos.  And night sky photos.  And “light painting”.  And so this month, we’re going to feature photos of Joshua Tree that have all of this!!!

You can tell I just love this stuff, can’t you?  😀

Comment, share, pin, that kind of thing.  Unless you don’t want to.  In that case, do nothing.

Title: Tower of Mordor
Info: Nikon D7000, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens, Feisol tripod. Exposure time 25 seconds at f/5, ISO 200. Combination of natural lighting from the full moon and light painting with a flashlight.
Photographer: Ken Lee
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA.
 

Long Exposure Night Sky Photos in Joshua Tree: Winter Tree and Stone (Because February is Joshua Tree Month Here at Ken Lee Photography!)

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Winter Stone and Tree

That’s right. Continuing with February Joshua Tree Month.  Because I can.

Late night, Joshua Tree.  Winter.  Yeah, a little cold, about freezing, but “light painting” is an active form of photography, yes it is.

What do I mean by that?  Running around the desert waving flashlights around.  Yeah.  That’s what I’m talkin’ about.  And people ask, “Doesn’t that feel silly?”

Yeah.  Absolutely.  And it’s great.  And look at the kind of photos we get.  This is fun stuff!

And anyway, at late hours, particularly when it’s freezing out, people are either sleeping or huddling by their campfires.  Anybody who’s out is almost assuredly another photographer.  And they’d not only most likely know what I’m doing, they’re probably doing it too!!!!!

I’ve been out late at night in Joshua Tree, the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Mono Lake, or other places.  I’ll go for several days or maybe a week.  And people say, “Wow, that’s a long time to spend by yourself!”  But I’m not by myself.  At these hours, late at night, early in the morning, the only nutjobs that are out are other photographers.  And they’re doing the same thing!!  So no, it’s actually been quite social at times!!!

So as you can tell, this month, we’re gonna be featuring photos of Joshua Tree.  But not just any photos.  Here, we’re crazy about long exposure photos.  And night sky photos.  And “light painting”.  And so this month, we’re going to feature photos of Joshua Tree that have all of this!!!

For “light painting”, I used an absurdly bright flashlight, a Dorcy, “light painting” the rock and tree from probably about 25 feet away, from the left side.  I tried to imitate the lovely way the full moon was falling on the rock and tree so it would look very natural. The Dorcy is almost like holding a car headlight in your hand.  Whazaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!  Fun!!  This was a 25-second exposure, just like last week’s photo.  Next week, we’ll feature some longer exposures,  and as the month goes on, some different examples of “light painting”!

You can tell I just love this stuff, can’t you?  😀

Title: Tower of Mordor
Info: Nikon D7000, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens, Feisol tripod. Exposure time 25 seconds at f/5, ISO 200. Combination of natural lighting from the full moon and light painting with a flashlight.
Photographer: Ken Lee
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA.