Mystery Moss

Location: Redwoods, CA | F2.8, ISO 3200, 1/250 second

Let's take a little break from light-painting stuff, it's time to focus on something equally awesome - Moss.

Did you know that certain types of moss (Sphagnum genus) were used in World War I as bandages for wounds? Aside from being readily available, it's because they are super absorbent - moss can carry more than 3 times the amount of liquid that cotton does. Another type of peat moss is used for smoking malt used for the production of Scotch Whiskey, I'll drink to that.

Let's take a closer look:

moss1

Moss can't carry water like most other plants, it depends on water vapor from cool damp environments like the redwood forest. Here it is doing what it does best, soaking up moisture.

Moss has around 12,000 different species, you can find many different varieties in the redwoods - infinitely fascinating!

I'm not sure if this one below is actually moss, it could be a hornwort or perhaps a liverwort. These plants reproduce via spores.

Here's another thing about moss that you may not know (and a little unsettling, considering that people used it as a bandage). It's one of the easiest locations to find tardigrades (or water-bears) - take a piece of moss and dry it out, then add water and search for creatures with an electron microscope (easier said than done). Tardigrades are very strange organisms that can be found just about anywhere, from the arctic, to deep sea, forests, deserts, etc. they are also the first known animal to survive the vacuum of space, we have a lot to learn from these alien-like creatures:

tardigrade

Check out more interesting environments in my Nature Gallery:

Allosaurus Crossing

Location: Hales Grove, CA | Settings: F5.6 / ISO 50 / 281 seconds

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I'm happy to add a new Allosaurus to my Light-fossils collection, one of my favorite dinosaurs. This theropod lived about 150 million years ago (before the T.rex at ~ 67 million years ago), was around 30 feet in length, had serrated teeth, and was a carnivorous predator at the top of the foodchain.

This bridge was a pretty sketchy place in the dark. There were leaves and debris that had built up in gaps between each of the wooden planks, any of which could have broken an ankle if you weren't careful. You can't see it, but there is a creek about 9 ft below the bridge, I thought a troll would emerge any second.

The rain had lightened up for a little bit and I got this one shot before it started to pour again. It poured for the next two days straight.

For more light-fossils, check the gallery below:


Rainbow Reindeer

Location: Redwoods National Park, CA | Settings: (composite) Light art at F5.6 / ISO 50 / 330 seconds. Environment at F3.5 / ISO 1600 / 46 seconds.

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Here's a luminous Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer in the Redwoods of Northern California - lighting the way.. Or is he lost again? Time will tell! 

Happy Holidays!

For the full collection of Light-Animals, check out the Gallery below:


Singer-songwriter

Location: Frazier Park, CA / Settings: (19 shots at) F8, ISO 100, 128 second exposures

Info on how this shot was created:

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

This place was freezing cold at an elevation of around 9,000 ft. Due to the full moon you can clearly see the way light is cast through the tree-tops and onto my foot-tapping soloist below.

This short animation took about 2 hours to draw.

Killer Cake

Location: Mt Pinos - Frazier Park, CA / Settings: F7.1, ISO 200, 153 second exposure

If driving into the mountains and hiking into the forest to freeze your ass off in the pale moonlight holding a machete and illustrating cake is your idea of a good time, then you are a prime candidate for light-painting photography! 

Just make sure to bring your long-underwear for that 38 degree 8800 ft altitude.

killer cake sketch

It always helps to sketch out the idea on paper before tackling it in real life. I was going to illustrate a regular cake, but making it a killer-cake just seemed like the right thing to do.

Two-tone Parasaurolophus

Location: Big Sur, CA / Settings: F7.1, ISO 100, 270 second exposure

I've recently turned 32 and wanted to commemorate the passing of time (as I've done for every birthday since 30), so I took a trip up the coast of California with my girlfriend Astrobandit - 540 miles from Los Angeles to Fort Bragg. I will be sharing images from my trip over the next few weeks, and here is the first at the Riverside campground in Big Sur, CA. That water was cold!