Mar 032011
 
Light Painting and Night Sky

by Gregory Pleau

Night Sky Only

Night Sky Only

The Image above was taken by Gregory Pleau (used with permission) on one of his evening excursions. This picture is an example of what is called “light painting”. In this case the foreground trees were illuminated with his LED flashlight. By brushing the flashlight back and forth on the foreground object he was able to bring life to a dark image. You can see a version without the light painting to the right. This is a great nightscape picture. He did have the advantage of a tripod. Any kind of a long exposure will require a tripod and some kind of shutter release mechanism. I use the IR remote control on my Nikon.

Light Painting at Waterloo Drinks

Light Painting at Waterloo Drinks

No tripod? No Camera? No problem! The image to the right was taken using my blackberry. I was out night caching with some friends. We wanted a picture of the well so we used a few headlamps on the foreground and a flashlight on the background. You can’t “paint” as much when you have relatively short exposures. You need long exposures for the best effect. It helps if you steady your camera against a tree, building or other suitably stable object.

High intensity LED flashlights are the key. I find that the combination of my 100 Lumen Rogue 2 and 50 Lumen Link allow me to capture some good pictures on location at night with my Blackberry. Longer exposures and larger lights, like those used by Gregory above, allow for even more creativity.