Desert Nightlife

Location: Pioneertown, CA

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Here's a slow dance with an equally slow shutter, this image took 156 seconds to illustrate with my red and blue tipped Night-Writer

Astrobandit and I checked this place out last week in Yucca Valley called The Ruin Venue which is mostly used for large parties and weddings. I set up for a few images using it's interesting outdoor features like this geometric lighting arrangement which was powered by a small generator.

For this image, I began the exposure with the lights on, and then walked to the generator and unplugged the lights to illustrate my dancing skeletons. The weather was strange this night, it was relatively calm in this part of the desert, but we could see intense storm clouds forming in the distance. Lighting struck a handful of times, but it was far off in the distance, so we just enjoyed the show.

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Here's a view of the fireplace inside the actual ruins. I thought this would be a good spot for my Stegosaurus Light-Fossil - this particular image is a composite of two shots. The stegosaurus took 198 seconds to produce, then I did an additional shot for the sky so I could capture those stars that were visible for a brief moment between the stormy clouds.

If you'd like to try this sort of image (above) for yourself, you can check out my blog post on compositing High/Low ISO photos together RIGHT HERE.

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Another view of the interior from outside the structure with the lights on. I really enjoyed the inside/outside feel of this place, it blends in well with the environment and makes for unique photo opportunities like this one. 

To learn more about light-painting, check out my EDU page for a full how-to explanation.

Spectral Corythosaurus

Location: Salton Sea, CA / Settings: (Composite) Light art at F5.6, ISO 50, 142 seconds. Stars at F2.8, ISO 3200, 15 seconds.

This image is a bit deceiving to me - it looks like the dinosaur is about 12 feet from the camera, in reality, it's more like 4 feet.

That's what a 14mm lens does - it crams everything into the camera. For the light-painter, this is both a blessing and a curse. It's great for tight spaces, but can be a bit confusing for us to imagine where the frame begins and ends! 

Check out the full collection of Light-Fossils below:

Spectral Triceratops Passes Time

Location: Sedona, AZ / Settings: F.16, ISO 1600, 217 seconds

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

For this shot, I was trying to capture part of the landscape in Sedona from Schnebly Hill, but was having difficulty because of the clouds blocking the moonlight. 

I opted for a high ISO and high Fstop to achieve this look, I like the way a long-exposure can capture slow movements - you can start to see some patterns emerge in the way the clouds flow, like an upside-down river.

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Yes Sur

Location: Big Sur, CA / Settings: F8, ISO 100, 189 seconds

Info on how this shot was created:

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

Big Sur is my special place, a personal paradise that I like to go and clear my head for a few days to feel refreshed and inspired - filling my cup, so to speak.

Each time I visit, is different - the weather changes on a dime and you're never sure whether you'll get clouds, fog, wind, clear skies or a combination of all three in the same day.

The skies here are some of the darkest in California and on a new moon, you can see galaxies far away with an atmospheric glow on the horizon.

Camera Settings: F2.8, ISO 6400, 15 seconds.

Here's the Moon, Jupiter and Venus shot from a pullout off the PCH during Blue Hour.

Camera Settings: F4.5, ISO 3200, 15 seconds.

Treading Light

Location: Glass Beach - Fort Bragg, CA / Settings: (Composite) Light art at F8, ISO 100, 156 seconds. Stars at F2.8, ISO 3200, 15 seconds.

Info on how this shot was created:

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

When I was here last several months ago, there was a staircase being constructed. I'd imagine by now that staircase is operational.

At the time, we scaled the cliffs to this spot on a new moon, which makes for a great view of the stars, but difficult for hiking. I hope the sea-glass shore stays the way it is - but I know it won't.

Check out the full set of light-fossil images.

Bone Dry

Location: Fossil Falls (Off Hwy 395) / Settings: (Composite of 2 images) Stars at F2.8, ISO 3200, 15 seconds / Light-painting at F8, ISO 100, 141 second exposure

This is one of those guided-by-intuition kind of spots, the kind that stick out like a sore thumb and curiosity gets the best of me, so I go in for closer inspection.

One of the more interesting aspects to this image besides the cool texture, is the lights glowing in the background.

If you want a good example for how light-pollution effects the landscape just look to Las Vegas (it's the strong background glow pictured here), over Death Valley national park and past some more desert over 140 miles away.

Rainbow Plesiosaur

Location: Torrey Pines State Beach - San Diego, CA / Settings: F5.6, ISO 200, 292 second exposure.

This is a bit different from my other light-fossil work, this is the first one where I've used the full color spectrum.

The reason behind this is that I've been working on a new light-pen tool with the help of a 3d printing space in LA to make a light-pen that can toggle through colors of the rainbow with the click of your thumb as you draw - without changing writing tools or fidgeting with awkward buttons.

There's a long road ahead toward the goldilocks model of this tool, but it's well on it's way and you can start to see some of it's progress here. Very excited to share more about this project soon.