Big Sur Session II

Location: Big Sur, CA

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Here's a super-fly butterfly idea I've had in mind for a while, but all of the water I was visiting wasn't still enough to make the reflection work until now. In the middle of the creek at Pfeiffer Beach, the conditions were just right - still wind, still water, and relatively mild temperatures. In this case, a decent pair of water shoes is a 100% necessary thing to have if you're stepping around on slippery rocks in the dark.

We faced some gloomy clouds for most of our time in Big Sur along with some rain, but we saw a bit of color in the clouds as the sun set on an evening hike. I've been wanting to add some new food items to my Light Morsels series. I got a chance to add this banana I made w a white and yellow tipped Night-Writer along the coast.

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Back at Pfeiffer Beach, and leading into the dawn, this was the last image I was able to take before it got too light to light-paint. Another color-tip challenge here, using all the tips in the jar. I call this one 'slippery when wet':

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Along the same lines as the butterfly image at the beginning of this blog post, for this light-skeleton, I wanted a very colorful look. I love the intricate details in all of the light reflections. Light-painting over water is like adding a mother nature filter to your work:

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Check out Big Sur Session I right here.

River Dance

Location: Los Angeles, CA / Settings: F6.3, ISO 100, 471 second exposure.

Gear used: Canon 6D, 24-70mm Lens, Manfrotto Tripod, Remote Shutter, and prototype Night-Writer.

The most important advice I have to give about water and light-painting is that you have to get in it to get the shot.. Do what you need to do, but realize you will be getting wet.

For this kind of photo, being in Los Angeles, and all the reasons that our river water is not as clean as say Denver's right next to the Rocky Mountains, I would recommend a pair of these black rubber boots if you plan a similar shot.

For less polluted waters, you can probably go with a black pair of water-shoes instead.

Check out my ever-growing collection of Light-Skeletons on the image link below:

Embryonic - (Collaboration with Eric Pare)

Location: Los Angeles, CA / Settings: (Composite) Circle at F4.5, ISO 1600 3 seconds. Skeleton at F5.6, ISO 100, 59 seconds.

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting up with fellow light-artist Eric Pare along with professional dancer Kim Henry - I've been familiar with Eric's work for some time now and it was great to collaborate on some images together.

There will be more to come next week, but I couldn't resist putting together this photo before the weekend - two very different light-styles you don't often see together in the same image.

Into the Light Matrix

Location: Los Angeles, CA / Settings: F22, ISO 100, 276 second exposure

Gear: Canon 6D,  24-70mm LensManfrotto TripodRemote Shutter-release, Prism, and Night-Writer.

It always helps to try and add new tricks to your arsenal - as far as I know, Dana Maltby aka TCB started using this trick in his photography where he would put a prism or kaleidoscope in front of the lens, lit from behind, then switched focus mid-exposure and continued lighting the environment to create some very interesting images.

prism

This is my take on that tech - crude, I know, but it works! More experiments to follow - this one has such a small drawing area that it's tough to get anything good in middle. 

For example, this stick figure is about the size of a quarter:

stick dude

Dime for reference - I'm liking the reflections here.

dime



Shocktopus

Location: Pfeiffer Beach - Big Sur, CA / Settings: F8, ISO 100, 564 seconds

Info on how this shot was created:

Gear: Canon 6D,  24-70mm LensManfrotto TripodRemote Shutter-release and prototype Night-Writer.

After the 6 hour drive, camp set-up, dinner and drinks, and campfire session til midnight, it was hard to find the motivation to go out on a cloudy night in the hopes of seeing stars on a new moon.

During the short hike to this pond in pitch dark, I surrendered to the now familiar tired and delirious state - the shot I had in mind was not possible, it depended on the weather, and the weather was crap!

I took one shot as a consolation attempt, I was in the right place, just not the right time. With all the effort it took to get there, why not finish strong before calling it a night? Sometimes, magic can be made in the most delirious state of mind. 

This is what all light-art photographers are out there shooting for - that one shot where you just know it all came together somehow, and now it's in the back of your camera in vivid detail. 

I shoot a lot of photos, and it's very rare to hit the KO punches - here's one :D  

 

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.

Shots of Color

Location: Torrey Pines Beach - San Diego, CA / Settings: F6.3, ISO 100, 204 seconds

shots of color

I'm hoping that the light-pen tool I've been designing for the past few years is going to make light-art a bit more interesting.

For many years I've been using different LEDs for different colors - stopping the illustration to switch tools for every color in the dark - it's really annoying and does a good job at breaking my concentration.

So I've come up with a solution - a light-pen that can change through many colors with a click of your thumb. This (image above) was the first I created using the prototype - which is still very slowly being worked on - meeting by meeting, phase by phase. Not done yet, not even close.

I like to think of it like a rough gem - it looks like any old rock now, but with a little refining and polishing, it could be great! 

Innovation is a trying process, but in my mind's eye, it is a crystal clear vision. 

torrey pines coastline

A foggy coast looking south to La Jolla Shores in San Diego, CA.

United Skeletons

Ice cream

Location: Rincon Point - Ventura, CA / Settings: F5.6, ISO 100, 55 second exposure

I've been on a food kick lately.. But it's ok, these unhealthy foods are all very light on calories ;)

orange flame

Here's the view of the same location on the South side - If you've ever driven on the 101 from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara at night you're sure to see this giant orange flame on the side of the freeway coming from the oil refinery. 

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.