Canyonlands National Park

Location: Canyonlands, Utah

Title: Spectral Brontosaurus Takes a Walk

Here's something new and never been done in the animation department. It's all about pushing that bar a little further in regards to the ever-changing media that is light-art.

I've included my frame by frame photos below - this compositing technique is similar to what I've described before in my blog with combining two images together to create a type of HDR-style light-painting.

I first take a timelapse of the milky way at a very high ISO and open aperture, then do the animating at a very low ISO in 'bulb mode' and a mostly closed aperture. In post-production, I combine the two images together and *PRESTO* you have a galactic light-fossil in motion.

Let's move on to the incredible place that is Canyonlands National Park! Here's an overview from Grand View Point during the day, the same location I chose to shoot my dinosaur animation at night:

My girlfriend Astro Bandit and I had a great time visiting the area, going on a few hikes and seeing the park at night. Check out that Milky Way, it doesn't get much better than that:

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In terms of hikes, you've got a few amazing options, one of which is to 'False Kiva'. A place of unknown origin that is a bit hard to get to if you're not sure where to look, there are no signs for it, and the location is being studied to determine how old it is (could be ancient).

I did a bit of research before hand and was able to make the trek out this iconic Southwestern US location. Doing the hike at dusk was a bit of a relief from the intense heat during the day, but even at night the temperature was around 85 degrees. Not so good for camera sensors as you can see from the quite noisey pano below. I bounced a light off the rock behind me to cast some light on the large kiva structure:

false kiva

Of course we had to do a bit of light-painting in the center of the kiva. I brought out some Light-Painting Brushes to try some angel-wings on Jordan standing in the middle of the kiva. Special thanks to Astro Bandit for managing the difficult hike out here in that dress:

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One last thing worth noting is how close Canyonlands is to Arches National Park, the two are practically neighbors, with Dead Horse Point state park in the middle. All three places are unique and incredible, if you visit Moab Utah, I encourage you to stop by all three for yourself.

Here's a view of Balanced Rock in Arches National Park that I did not post in my last blog on Arches, I figured I could throw it in here for the ender. Thanks for reading and feel free to share!

City Stage (making of vid)

Location: Los Angeles, CA / Settings: F.22, ISO, 192 seconds

For a shot like this you have to control how much light enters your camera - for this reason, I set the lens to the highest aperture possible.

To get a good idea of how much my standing in front of the city-lights affected the exposure, just take a look at my legs - the city-lights are well exposed, outside of them I'd say it was a bit too bright for clarity's sake.

Fortunately, clarity of city-lights wasn't the point to this image, it's a balance of the elements - the tree, the angel, the lights below.

I hope you enjoy this photo, you can check out the full collection of Angels in my Gallery:

Down to Earth

Location: Red Rock Canyon, CA / Settings: (Composite) Model at F3.5, ISO 1600, 8 seconds. Light art at F8, ISO 100, 23 seconds.

down to earth

Info on how this shot was created:

Gear: Canon 6D, Rokinon 14mm LensManfrotto Tripod, and Remote Shutter-release.

Found a natural pedestal out in Red Rock Canyon - the moon did a nice job of cutting the landscape in half with it's shadow, allowing me to cast color gel'd light in the dark areas while my model was still back-lit.

If you'd like to shoot these kind of images yourself, try using this set of color gels - I tend to like the strongest colors and contrasts - red and blue work best, teal and orange are great too.