January 14, 2012

Fire In The Desert

While in Las Vegas for work this past week, I took advantage of an opportunity to head out to the desert one night for a little light painting with a few friends.  It turned out to be a pretty spectacular trip.  We had a completely full moon to provide a good amount of ambient light for us.  This allowed us to keep our shutter times relatively quick.  I think the longest we were shooting were no more than 3-4 minutes.  I must say that I'm really pleased with how these turned out.  I love all the texture of the rocks, it really adds a lot of interest to the images, and makes for a great backdrop for the paint.

These images were created using the Canon 1D Mk IV and the Canon 14mm f/2.8L lens.


  1. Jeff, these are really spectacular! A great combination of natural night-lit beauty and light painting. I wonder if you could explain how you did the light painting? What did you use as your light source? How did you get the different colors... the golden yellow in the light sprays as opposed to the contained balls of blue, red and yellowish white? Thank you, and great job!

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Tom! The nearly full moon really added to these images. The light is from a couple of different sources. The sprayed light is actually steel wool on the end of a string. You light it and spin it and it puts on a good show. You have to be really careful though because it it can burn you and/or the things around you. The orbs are created with a gadget I built, basically some battery powered LED christmas lights on a long wire. You spin them as you rotate around a center point. It takes a bit of practice to get the orbs perfect (I still have a long way to go), but you can get some pretty cool results. By the way, I am in the orb images, with the long exposure, I disappear.

  3. New to your site. OMG. These pictures are magnificent and you are a genius! You remind me of what they say about great photographers: They do not just take photos of images, they create it. :)

  4. Welcome, lya, glad to have you! Thanks for your kind words.


  5. Wow, these are stunning. Even with your explanation, I am struggling to grasp exactly what you did. I would love to get out there in the night and experiment after seeing these! Found you through #dpsbest

  6. Thanks, Marcy! I'm going to be back there in a couple of weeks to do a little more of these.


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