Responses to your burning thoughts

Stella McDaniel

Some of you have asked some appealing questions about evening pictures. Here’s your responses to your darkest questions.

What is gentle portray?

Light-weight portray is made use of in numerous various strategies. However, the two use lengthy exposures.

A person way is to shine a handheld light right into the lens and attract issues. These can variety from incredibly straightforward letters to fairly complicated drawings of flowers or dinosaurs. Simply because you are drawing, it is commonly acknowledged as light drawing, which differentiates it from mild portray properly.

If you are accomplishing letters, you ought to apply creating them reversed, although!

Night photo with light painting, Nelson ghost town Nevada
Evening photo with light-weight painting, Nelson ghost town Nevada

Yet another sort of mild painting requires employing a handheld light also. But rather of purposely shining it into the lens, we use it to “paint” mild on a issue. In other phrases, we illuminate a matter these as a tree, abandoned auto, setting up or pure element though the camera’s shutter is open for the duration of a very long publicity.

Why never you surface in your pictures when you walk as a result of the body?

I enjoy this problem because it is a intriguing just one. Lots of of us evening photographers will “light paint” a matter by strolling through the frame, the place the camera lens is pointed.

Having said that, if we do not shine the light on ourselves and we really don’t stand still, we will not seem. In actuality, we won’t seem in our pics at all unless of course we stand still for 10% of the exposure time or extended. For a two-moment-extensive publicity, that’s twelve seconds. And even then, you commence showing up as a faint darkish smudge, not quickly seen unless the qualifications is a tiny brighter.

15-30mm f/2.8 lens/Pentax K-1 DSLR.

Do you require exclusive cameras?


I could virtually allow that be the total reply. It may be amusing. But no, I really do not use exclusive cameras. In point, both equally my cameras are “garden-variety” DSLRs that ended up made in 2014 and 2016. They are old. This is mostly because of to funds, as I would be pleased to use a Nikon Z8 mirrorless.

Most any fashionable digicam that has handbook controls can choose fantastic evening images.

And if you are wanting to make lower-ISO photos near a complete moon, you can use very modest cameras.

Double Arch, Arches Nationwide Park, Utah. Nikon digital camera.

With lenses, it relies upon on what you wish to do. If you desire to make beautiful Milky Way shots with the stars as pin-factors, a lens that has a big aperture is finest. This allows in extra of that exceptionally dim mild. One thing like f/2.8 or wider is very good for Milky Way pictures. These can be a lot more high priced. Having said that, Rokinon and other brands make fantastic lenses with broad apertures that are economical.

Night photo with light painting near a full moon, Joshua Tree National Park.
Night time photo with mild portray in the vicinity of a comprehensive moon, Joshua Tree Countrywide Park.

If you are using photos in the vicinity of a entire moon, applying low ISO, and working with longer exposures, then you can use just about any type of lens. I frequently use a Pentax 28-105mm f/3.35-5.6 lens that I procured utilized for US$300.

Extra questions?

If you have other issues, please depart them in the remarks under. If I post a particular photograph that spurs a concern on social media, make sure you ask there! If there are adequate recurring queries, I could possibly generate a further write-up like this later.

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