Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Okinawan beaches and a near full moon.

I was recently down in Okinawa, Japan teaching a 2 night light painting course.  It was the first time to run the course so I spent the previous week fretting about what to bring.  After having difficulty deciding and being overly excited about being able to shoot in such a location I ended up shipping way too much stuff by courier a few days before heading down.  Upon arriving I came to the realization that being the instructor I would not be shooting anything for myself.  My heart sank briefly before reminding myself that this is the path I chose and by spreading the art of light painting I will leave with more.  But it still sucked being in such a beautiful place and not being able to shoot any LP!!  In the end seeing my students LCD screens light up with killer shot after killer shot which in turn made them experience a feeling than only nailing a shot can bring made me feel a whole lot better.

But really, who am I kidding?  There was no way I was going home with nothing.  I had about 30 minutes one night and about an hour the following night to snap some long exposures and give a new 24L a test run.  Keep reading to see more shots and hear my first impressions on this new lens.

5Dm2 + 15mm fisheye at f/2.8 and ISO200 for 80 seconds.  Foreground lit with 500 lumen LED torch

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Okinawa Workshop Summary

So the workshop in Okinawa, Japan has come and gone and was a great success.  I met  many creative people who were eager to learn.  They all picked up night shooting so fast and were full of ideas and inspiration.  I hope I am invited down there to run it again next summer!  Keep reading to see some of the work the students shot.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Workshop In Vancouver, Canada

I am pleased to announce I will be hosting a workshop in Vancouver, Canada on August 5th and 6th.  Keep reading after the jump for more info...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fireflies v2

I got out for another night of firefly shooting.  After a few days of rain I was not expecting great results again.  I could not help but feel we had bad weather luck this year.  But enough whining...  It did stop raining long enough for me and a few other shooters to get out and try and hunt some down.  Read on after the jump...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

left over roman candles...

I found a bunch of left over roman candles.  Hmmm.  What to do with them?  The only thing I could think of was to tape them all to a stick and give it Phill to run around the forest with...

So I guess the point of this post is if you have some extra fireworks lying around you should tape them all to a stick at once and give it to your friend to run around with while you take a picture.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fireflies 2011 night #1

Well one of my favorite seasons has arrived.  It is firefly season here in Japan and as a night shooter it is definitely something to look forward to.  See and read more after the jump...
Shot off a bridge.  170 seconds @ f/4 and ISO 1600.  Shot at 17mm

Friday, May 20, 2011

Guide to star trailing

Ever see those pictures where the stars streak across the sky in a big arc?  or maybe the whole sky looked like it was spinning?  What you saw was start trails.  The streaks were light left behind on the sensor or film from the star as it traveled across the sky in front of an open camera shutter.  In fact, what are being recorded are stationary stars and the rotation of the earth spins past them.  For me, the images seem to have a certain magic or mystery about them.  You must have heard a photographer talking about capturing that perfect moment in time.  Well for capturing star trails you will need to capture the perfect hour or two in time.  For such amazing looking images the technique to capture them is really quite simple.  Keep reading for a complete set of instructions from start to finish.

150 minutes of night sky taken on Salt Spring Island in Canada

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A new perspective on star trails

I have always shot star trails with a fisheye or ultra-wide angle lenses.  It just seemed to make sense.  More sky would equal more stars.  I tried shooting star trails at a longer focal length and was pretty happy with the new perspective.  Read on to learn why...
85mm @ f/1.6 ISO 1600 for 240 seconds.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

LP Workshop in Okinawa Japan!

I am extremely pleased to announce i will be hosting a light painting and night photography workshop in Okinawa, Japan.  Keep reading for the details...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Canon TC 80N3 remote hack

So you had a 30D or 40D and decided to upgrade to a brand spanking new 60D.  You had already invested in a RS-80N3 or an even more expensive TC-80N3 timer remote or had already invested in both.  That fancy N3 connector made you feel like you had an accessory for a higher end camera.  This was more advanced that the old style 3/32"(2.5mm) stereo plug(Canon calls it an E3 connection) that had been used in the old days and is still being used on lower end consumer Canon DSLR's.  You un-box that bad ass new 60D and head out into the night to break that new cam in.  You have set up your shot, or may have gone as far as tracking your telescope and mounting your cam to that, and now go to connect your N3 type remote.  Unfortunately, you are shocked by what you find.  It seems that some idiot at Canon decided that it would be funny to revert the pro-sumer 60D to the 3/32"(2.5mm) stereo jack connector that had been previously reserved for the lower end consumer models.   WTF? Canon.  This is not funny.  I have to spend more money after investing in the best they had to offer???  Did I just spend over 1000 bucks on a consumer level camera???  Luckily there is a hack...  All you need to know to fix this dilemma after the jump below the picture.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Good news for Mac users!

Good news for those night shooters who are using Macs.  Until now the only choice we had for stacking shots was an action in Photoshop.  The widely used was limited to windows which has always been a major nuisance to say the least.  Photoshop did a wonderful job but was slow and tied up memory which limited what other tasks could be done simultaneously.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hot sparks!

I brought a first timer out for some star shooting.  The conditions were less than perfect so I thought I would show him a bit of light painting and wire wool spinning.  I asked him if I could throw a few sparks at him and offered a hat and gas mask for some protection.  He agreed but I do not think he was prepared for what I had in mind.   More shots after the jump...

The lights we use

Here is a brief video outlining some of the lights I use for light painting and night photography. Hit me up with any questions in the comments

Light stencil tutorial

Light stencils are an easy way to add in graphic elements to long exposure shots. Basically, is lit from behind with a flash in the frame while the shutter is open during a long exposure. The graphic remains while the person and box are completely invisible.

Friday, April 29, 2011

First post test

Just a test of the system.  It looks like we are live!