Curator's Choice
Winner in Painting with Lights Photo Challenge
Peer Award
Evgeniylord Isshin immaginEmozioni grandpa_Vlad chiphendershot Mandarinetto1965 Pitzi +22
Outstanding Creativity
MEDOM john_arsenault thomaswmiller JessiCam100 calebsadler Arvidz Dragon28 +2
Superb Composition
paulcorpus loved2030 Chefloves2cook pnewbery Le850mans
Absolute Masterpiece
panoslykourgiwtis andrewgibson LauraKimberlyPhotography StudioLeFort
Top Choice
BlazTomazVertacnik Alfene
All Star
Treecy erreffe
Jaw Dropping

Top ClassTM

The Wonders of the World Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Wonders of the World Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Colors Photo ContestTop 20 class
The Colors Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 20 class
Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Our Natural World Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Playing With Darkness Photo ContestTop 20 class
Playing With Darkness Photo ContestTop 20 class week 3
Playing With Darkness Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Playing With Darkness Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Light It Up Photo ContestTop 30 class
Light It Up Photo ContestTop 30 class week 2
High Contrast Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1


4 Comments | Report
StudioLeFort February 07, 2014
Fantastic - you should add this to the project Noctography...
StudioLeFort February 07, 2014
Welcome to the Noctography project, we love creative shots like this...!!!!
ovosphotography December 16, 2014
like this one!
paulatchinson PRO
paulatchinson Feb 26
Hi - this image would be a great entry for my ‘LIGHT PAINTING’ challenge I have recently created.
Could I persuade to give it a go and enter?
The URL is
To enter Go to my Viewbug Page - click on my avatar image - click on the link to CHALLENGES, then CREATED and choose ‘LIGHT PAINTING’.
I hope you enter and best of luck.

Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in Southern California at LA-88, the old abandoned Nike Missile Base. After nearly a half hour hike up a steep hillside with all of our photo and lighting gear, we were very happy to find a few of these burned and disheveled buses, along with various dilapidated buildings.
We began our hike around sunset, but did not arrive at the top until after dusk. Luckily, there were 5 of us that night, so we all laughed and competed to see who could get to the top the fastest. After exploring the area for several hours, this was one of the last images we shot that evening.
This night was all about painting with various instruments of light. We used the full moon and a long exposure to capture the brilliant blue hue of the sky. The sparks and trails were created by several sparklers carried by 3 separate people who helped outline the frame of the bus. In addition to moonlight, a gel covered external flash was used to light the interior and exterior of the bus itself. In the image you can actually see that the flash captured faint impressions of where two of the painters were momentarily standing.
This image was shot using a Canon 60D, 18-55mm 2.8 lens, tripod, external flash with gel, and several sparklers.
I had been heavily enamored with light painting for some time. This particular trip was inspired by my friend Anthony's birthday. Having enjoyed our previous light painting expeditions, we knew this location would be ideal to capture a different type. As we rounded out our evening and began to exit, we came upon these buses once more and knew that this final image would be our "last hurrah" for the night. We decided to pull out what remained of our sparklers and make this unexpected object a seemingly spectacular subject.
Most light painting photography requires minimal post-processing, and this image was no different. I slightly adjusted the levels to bring down the shadows and increase the details of the image itself. This brought out the contrast and a higher quality image. I also added the light painting watermark, to signify the difference between this and my usual photography.
In my camera bag
On average, my bag will contain a Canon 60D body with my "walking around" lens, (18-55mm, 2.8). I also bring my portrait lens (85mm, 1.8) in case I am working with models as opposed to landscapes. I keep an external flash and diffuser in my bag at all times because I have never liked onboard flashes, and for shots such as this they come in very handy. Aside from these, I bring remote triggers for both flash and shutter..
The night is your friend. Using a wide aperture and long exposure will help you to create the brightest and most elaborate of images. The beautiful thing about light painting is that it can be done anywhere. Even the most unlikely of objects can be turned into something magical just by using a few different lighting tricks. Using a remote trigger is especially helpful when you are working solo, but never be afraid of making a fool of yourself with some friends while you run around waving lights in the air. While practice will help you to perfect your style and timing, you will often find that some of the most amazing light painting images are those that are spur of the moment.

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