Rodney Campbell's Blog

Light Painting at Malabar…

by on Sep.10, 2012, under Life, Photography

Gerry and I returned to Malabar for a sunset and evening session this time. The intent was to shoot sunset and twilight and then some star trails and light painting whilst waiting for the trails to complete.

On the way there it was looking “interesting” with a mass of dark clouds (which basically killed off any hopes of star trails) and well… pouring rain 🙁

The clouds were moving over very fast (which was great for some long exposure work) and was mostly moving along the coast.

Thankfully the rain died off just as we arrived at the car park and we had no troubles on the 20 minute walk out to the location. We had pretty good weather for sunset itself with some nice cloud action and great colour in the sky and even some rainbow action (which I unfortunately missed capturing :()

Note: These images (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

Here’s a shot setting the scene with Gerry – king of the world 🙂

NIKON D7000 + 12.0-24.0 mm f/4.0 @ 13 mm, 20 sec at f/11, ISO 100

We then settled in for the evening with some steel wool action whilst there was still some light and colour in the sky towards the end of twilight. We had some real issues with the steel wool (Gerry was finding it impossible to light) but we got a few almost decent images…


NIKON D7000 + 12.0-24.0 mm f/4.0 @ 17 mm, 240 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400

It started to rain fairly heavily in short bursts as dark rain filled clouds moved overhead – we moved inside the bunker to wait it out each time. The only major problem was all the water on the filters and lens

The real action started once we got the EL Wire out – it was a full moon so we had great ambient light – lighting our fast moving clouds and the general landscape during long exposures, so we didn’t have to paint any of the scene with torches

Here’s a test shot from inside the bunker with some EL Wire whilst we were waiting for the rain to pass

Cylon Base

NIKON D7000 + 12.0-24.0 mm f/4.0 @ 12 mm, 191 sec at f/8, ISO 100

Each time it stopped we’d go outside and setup some shots and go to work (long four (4) or more minute exposures whilst we’d walk through the scene with EL Wire painting the ground with “fire”) and when it rained again we’d retreat back inside to wait it out. The rain was actually beneficial to the photography however since it wet down the rocks giving it a nice reflective sheen.

We got about three different compositions done before we called it a night. This first however was the money shot – it looked great straight out of camera and we knew we’d gotten what we came here for (two different takes and these are pretty close to SOOC)…

Mystic Fire

NIKON D7000 + 12.0-24.0 mm f/4.0 @ 12 mm, 270 sec at f/8, ISO 100

River of Fire

NIKON D7000 + 12.0-24.0 mm f/4.0 @ 12 mm, 270 sec at f/8, ISO 100

All in all I’d call it a successful outing and we plan to return again – probably to some of the other buildings on the headland – for some further lightpainting and/or star trails action.

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