Goblin Valley

Location: Goblin Valley, Utah

Print Options

There's a place in Utah that looks like a Goblin kingdom due to its unique concentration of strange geological features called 'Hoodoos'.

Astrobandit and I took a road trip there recently (and other incredible locations that you will see soon). Here's a short vid I shot on my phone of us seeing it on arrival. This will give you a sense of space and how easy you could get lost in this weird and awesome place:

My LED tool of choice for the evening - the eldest current model of my Night-Writer, practically polished from use, basking in the last rays of light. Later I would lose this Night-Writer for the rest of the trip only to discover it in a bag weeks later. Thankfully, I always pack a few when I travel!

Here are some of the images I got the chance to light-paint during our night at Goblin Valley.

Let's start with introductions, say hello to Harry, Larry and Jerry:

Print Options

Delving deeper into the Goblin Kingdom, I brought out my old (Canon A-1) 35mm film camera for another light-painting featuring some Goblins. I call this one 'Goblin Slayer'. It would make a cool video game I think:

Print Options

I love the dynamic range of film! Look at that glow around the light-lines, and the way that light hits the rocks around our characters. 

I feel like the SOOC movement (straight out of camera photographers) should only shoot film if they are concerned with the purity of an image, for film by nature does not lie and cannot be manipulated in the way that digital can. It has a negative for record so you can see for a fact that it was unedited. Otherwise it's just one photographer's word against anothers.

After a bit of exploring in the dark, Astrobandit and I definitely got lost. With a new moon on a cloudy night, it was hard not to get lost in this goblin-riddled labyrinth! Luckily, after a few long exposures at high ISO in different directions, I made out the shape of a shade structure overlooking the valley. This gave me some insight as to where the hell we were in this massive Hoodoo labyrinth.

The next image I wanted to create was one with a caterpillar in it. I thought the hoodoos looked like mushrooms anyways, so it was a clear choice:

Print Options

The clouds parted briefly so I could get some stars in my image! Really happy with the way this one turned out :D

I lit the mushroom hoodoo by using a red LED light and my hand to block the lower portion of the light so that it only hit the top part of the rock. It took a few tries to get it just right!

Next up is a little NSFW but I thought it was funny, I'll end this post with a light-painted dick pic using a particularly phallic part of the environment:

Print Options

That's all for now, check back in a few days for a Southwestern light-tour update! Shine bright friends.

Rainbros

Location: Murphy's Ranch - Pacific Palisades, CA / Settings: (Variable F-stop) F2.8 for Casted light, F16 for Skeletons, ISO 100, 553 seconds.

Gear: Canon 6DRokinon 14mm LensManfrotto TripodRemote Shutter-release and Proto Night-Writer.

This is not an easy location to get to - it's about a 7 mile hike in and out.. But if a group of teenagers can get to it carrying a 3ft glass bong, then you can hike it with some camera gear.

One of the funniest moments happened when Astrobandit and I were setting up for this shot in the dark - A group of high school aged kids walked toward the building with flashlights and shined their light on us in the middle of this doorway (it was pitch black) - they collectively FREAKED OUT, a girl screamed - which triggered other girls to scream, and we watched as a group of 12 flashlights ran off in the opposite direction screaming for their lives!

We nearly died of laughter and Jordan attempted to explain that we were not ghosts, murderers or anything like that. It was a Scooby-Doo moment.

doorway

If you'd like to take this hike for yourself, read up on this post.

Bury the Hatchet

bury the hatchet

Quick collab post I did a while back with UK photographer Dan Whitaker. Thought it was appropriate today! Here's a link to the unedited version of this photo - I took certain liberties to fill in the wave :)

Dan Whitaker used a digital light-wand to create the waves here back in 2013. This was a few years before the pixel-stick came out, and Dan had used Michael Ross's tutorial to help him create it.

Texas-based photographer/light-artist Michael Ross was the original inventor to this tech, it's crazy to see his idea so wide-spread these days! I think people should know that he was the original inventor of this tech tool.

Happy Independence Day!

Blowing off steam

Location: Columbia, MO / Settings: F8, ISO 100, 138 seconds

Info on how this shot was created:

Gear: Canon 6DRokinon 14mm LensManfrotto TripodRemote Shutter-release and Night-Writer.

This night had a very bright full moon and I wanted to take advantage of steam generated from this nearby power-plant, so I walked down a path by the creek until the moon was hiding just behind all the steam.

The vacant bench with steam above had to have the Lionel Richie pose

In other news, I've updated stock for the Night-Writer light-pen (the LED tool I used to illustrate the photo above). 

 

Arch Rock, or Dead Duck?

Location: Joshua Tree, CA / Settings: F4.5, ISO 1600, 106 seconds

This is one of those night-photographers spots - I feel sorry for the casual camper that unsuspectingly chooses the place right by the entrance to arch rock trail, as there's always late-night hikers making the sound of footsteps passing by in the middle of the night.

I didn't have much of a concept for light-art when I first got here, but after looking at the rock - It began to look like a dead-duck from the classic nintendo game duck hunt.. The more I looked at it, the clearer it became.

A little orange light there, an X for the eye, a little green, some blue, and finally a bit of yellow for the feet. Ah yes - a dead duck indeed!

That's what light-art is all about - making beautiful landscapes into dead ducks.

 

Rolling Bones

Location: El Mirage, CA / Settings: (Composite of 2 images) Skeletons at F8, ISO 100, 237 seconds. Skateboard & stars at F2.8, ISO 3200, 15 seconds. 

After researching a few dry lake beds, I soon realized it's the responsibility of every image-capturing human being to shoot an illusion where there's something that's usually small (but appears large) in the foreground and something that usually large (that appears small) in the background.

Just take a look at some of these images at the salt flats in Boliva for example. I wanted to put my own spin on that kind of photo.

Now run for your lives ;)

Pizza Reaper

Location: Big Sur, CA / Settings: F7.1, ISO 100, 339 second exposure

The pizza-reaper was an idea my friend Jeff Morris said I should try out a few years ago. He's got a great drone video he just released called 'Above San Diego' that has some really unique shots - you should watch it.

Anyways, I liked his idea and tried a few photos years ago but they never came out quite the way I wanted - they were rough and un-practiced back then. 

Fast-forward a few years of practice and take that same idea to Big Sur, CA and now you have something worth looking at! Here's the fellow offering a slice, any takers?

You can download the wallpaper-size version of this image (iphone 6 size) in case you might want a pizza-reaper phone:

pizza-reaper wallpaper