I captured this image while leading my lightpainting workshop in Colorado Springs. The class participants also got similar images. It’s tricky to shoot in the dark. You learn things about your camera settings that suddenly can cause issues if you’re not careful. For example, when it’s really dark, your camera will think the shot is out of focus– even if you’ve pre-focused. That means if you’re using “focus priority” release mode, your camera won’t fire! That’s just one of the many reasons why I like using “back button AF” all the time– my camera fires when I want it to, not when it “thinks” it should. We used a 9W LED hand-held spotlight on this scene. I had a 3/4 cut of CTO gel on the light to warm it up, and I set the WB to 2610°K in Capture NX2 (based off the incandescent setting). That produced the cool blue sky, and I warmed up the rocks a little with Control Points. Lightpainting is always a trial and error exercise, so it’s more fun when you’ve got some friends with you to help out.
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