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Light Painting Photography
In the painting with light photographic technique, I use the beam of light from a flashlight to paint light onto objects in a pitch dark scene at night just as a painter would use his or her paintbrush to paint on canvas. My painting with light technique makes me different than most other night outdoor photographers who use this technique. The most common technique is to take a single 1-5 minute shot of the scene that includes all of the lighting. Sometimes a few additional shots are taken for object lighting and for the sky. These are all blended together into a final image during post-processing.
Inspired by Eric Curry, my technique is to shoot as many as 60 shots from the same camera position. This enables me to create more detailed and dramatic lighting of more complex scenes. I like to capture rich textures and this requires multiple shots to light each surface in the scene individually and usually from multiple directions and angles. To capture details in sharp focus across the entire scene, I often shoot with multiple focus points. I sometimes use colored light to accent parts of the scene.
During a typical night, I shoot 2-4 scenes depending upon the complexity of the shot, and how long it takes me to drive and hike to my destination. This field technique enables me to create a large palette of shots to choose from for each scene that can be blended into a final image.