P22

Location: Los Angeles, CA / Settings: F6.3, ISO 50, 171 seconds

In Los Angeles, we have a semi-famous mountain lion named P22 that roams the Griffith Park area - here's a New Yorker article that will tell you about it's sad situation.

I was out here shooting with a Russian film crew for a program called the 'Wonders of Technology' - hoping to share the edit once it is produced sometime in early 2016.

For this image, I was already very familiar with Steve Winter's incredible shot published in National Geographic.

I wanted to draw a more colorful version of that with light, kind of an ode to P32, the Mountain Lion struck and killed by a car last August. 

Here's my process below:

catch a cougar

The key to illustrating something like this is a combination of different skills.

Step One: Start with a sketch. Get it looking the way you'd like it to appear, keep in mind it will be much harder to do with light!

Step Two: Draw a super-basic version to get the composition correct - this can take a few tries (you might want to just use a simple circle or rectangle). Make sure to mark your spot with a rock or a few sticks so you know where to place your animal once you like the composition.

Step Three: Go for it! Nailing it first try is a wonderful feeling, but most likely, you'll be trying this over and over until you get something you're amped on.

Good Luck Light Comrades!

For more Light-Animals and print options, check out my full collection below:

Sheats-Goldstein Residence

Had a chance to visit one of Los Angeles's architectural gems last week with Astro Bandit, a beautiful house designed in 1963 by John Lautner

I will always remember it as Jackie Treehorn's house; as in this hilarious scene from Coen Brother's 1998 film The Big Lebowski. 

Pineapple Express

Location: Downtown Los Angeles, CA / Settings: F22, ISO 100, 27 seconds

Info on how this shot was created:

Gear: Canon 6D, CP2 50mm LensManfrotto TripodRemote Shutter-release and Night-Writer.

Last night I met up with fellow photographer Jake Ramirez (Sumerian Lights) for a bit of shooting downtown, I didn't know it would be a battle for the pineapple image you see above. 

contact sheet

20 photos later, the pineapple looked decent - It wasn't the easiest Light Morsel to draw.

Skelebuddies in the Fog

Location: Encinal Canyon - Malibu, CA / Settings: F8, ISO 100, 581 second exposure

Info on how this shot was created:

Gear: Canon 6D24-70mm LensManfrotto TripodRemote Shutter-release and Proto Light-pen.

This photo was all about taking advantage of the weather - I was driving through Encinal Canyon on a road that connects the Valley of Los Angeles to the Beaches of Malibu, when a dense fog appeared. Noting the opportunity, I pulled over to shoot one long exposure - a shot I had in mind for some time - rainbow light skeletons in a row.

For placement issues, I know I needed a lot of space - so I shot wide and hoped to capture some car trails - that's what the white streaking lights are (frame left). I started with the white skeleton and side-stepped about 3 feet for each other skeleton.. But soon realized I may have started a bit too far over once I got to the blue character. 

I did my best to place the last two purple and pink skeletons left of where I began with the white and I'm happy they didn't overlap - this was nearly a ten minute exposure.

If you'd like to see the full collection of light skeletons, check out the Shiny Bones Gallery.

PSA: Don't Play with Fire

Location: Salton Sea, CA / Settings: F9, ISO 100, 214 seconds

Info on how this shot was created:

Gear: Canon 6D, 24-70mm Lens, Manfrotto Tripod, and Remote Shutter-release.

I wanted to create a smoking effect along with a bit of fire coming from a skeleton holding a match - so I used white el wire for the smoke, a red sparkler for the fire, and whitered, and orange LEDs for my character and match. 

Some insight on the image:

This is a more serious topic than usual - it's June now and the fire season in Southern California is about to kick off shortly. In light of the 2007 fires in San Diego and 2009 fires in Los Angeles, please try and be extra careful out there with cigarettes, campfires, and fireworks. Here's some images if you need a reason:

harris fire over mount miguel

Harris Fire in San Diego, CA - October 2007 (not shot by me - found on wikipedia)

station fire 2009

Station Fire in Los Angeles, CA - August 2009 - I shot this image from a rooftop in downtown Los Angeles of a mushroom cloud rising North East over the San Gabriel mountains. Note the 747 airplane to the bottom left of the cloud for scale!