The Light Painting Vlog #37 – Lake Wobegon Trail

As the days have reached their peak length with the apex of sunshine upon us, it was only right to take advantage of an almost perfect night on the Lake Wobegon Trail.

It has been in the 90’s the past couple weeks, so a day in the 70’s was just what the doctor ordered. It felt strange pulling a pair of jeans over my feet after so many days of wearing shorts and flip flops. The air was cool and a little damp, but the night was clear and beautiful. As we rode along the trail, we were greeted with a smile and hello by the local towns people out for an evening stroll. As the sun started to find the horizon, our faces were covered by brilliant golden light as we passed by deer, rabbits and even a little chipmunk that we surprised by our sudden arrival. When you’re making a light painting it is usually a waiting game for darkness to fall. The sun set just after 9pm but it wasn’t dark enough to shoot the stars until around 10:30. We had to hurry also as the area where we parked was only open until midnight. That left us little time to make some light paintings and make the trek back to our car before the tow truck would appear.

With our objective ahead of us we got to work.

1st Image

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The above image was created while there was still a residue of sunlight left in the sky. The Bicycles were placed to align with the glimpse of horizon between the trees and lit up using a flashlight.

Technical Details

Camera: Nikon D5100

Lens: Tamron 17-50mm

Focal Length: 17 mm

Shutter Speed: 30s

F Number: 3.5

ISO: 100

 

2nd Image

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This image was a little more challenging to create. First I used a flashlight and light painted Jackie from front to back as she held her pose, then handed the flashlight off to her as she painted me. All of this was done in a single 30 second exposure. It took a few tries and a couple cyclist on the trail meant we had to move our equipment and then set it up again, but we got the shot we were after.

Technical Details

Camera: Nikon D5100

Lens: Tamron 17-50mm

Focal Length: 17 mm

Shutter Speed: 30s

F Number: 3.5

ISO: 200

 

3rd Image

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This image was fun to see on the back of the camera display. I placed the camera on the ground looking up at the bicycle with the stars in the background. With the focus locked on the bike, the stars were turned into soft points of light in the gradient sky created by local light pollution. I cranked the ISO up to 1250 in order to keep a wide open aperture to soften the stars. The yellow handlebar wrap along with the color in the sky really makes the image come to life.

Technical Details

Camera: Nikon D5100

Lens: Tamron 17-50mm

Focal Length: 17 mm

Shutter Speed: 30s

F Number: 3.5

ISO: 1250

 

Final Image

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With just enough time to make one more image, I grabbed my little light wand and spelled out BICYCLE in free space above Jackie’s bike. The hard part of this is writing the letters and word backwards while understanding where you are in dark space relative to the camera frame. Thankfully all the practice is starting to pay off and it has become quite natural.

Technical Details

Camera: Nikon D5100

Lens: Tamron 17-50mm

Focal Length: 17 mm

Shutter Speed: 30s

F Number: 3.5

ISO: 320

 

If you would like to license an image for commercial use please contact us at stimulightthenight@gmail.com.

Feel free to download this image and use it for your personal use. I just ask that you attribute with a link to this page and the following caption. (photo by Stimulight The Night)

 

Author – Dan McCreight