It is finally time for the first shoot using low level lighting with adjustable LED light panels. While this first attempt is not perfect by any means, I am on the fly of what can and could be improved the next time out.
I have previously attempted light painting the tufa towers using a flashlight or two. Sweeping the flashlights is an inexact art form that can yield fantastic results when done well and ruin a decent composition of silhouettes when done badly. Instead of inconsistent light painting, using a consistent steady uniform light source to illuminate foreground objects (versus the stars) is more predicable and preferable method of lighting.
Equipment Notes: The light panels I am using are the F&V HDV-Z96 II LED (primary light) and the Neewer 160 LED CN-160 (secondary light). I am using one light stand for the primary light while the secondary light is ground based. What I learned from this particular shoot is the effect of ground-based lights results in low elements (grasses, rocks, bushes) being unintentionally lit. This is still a problem with a light stand unless a snoot or barn door flap is used to stop light from hitting the ground. Either that or recompose with less negative foreground space to the left and right of center.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, spot metering mode, ISO4000, 11mm, f/2.8, 10 sec
Mono Lake (CA), Lighted Tufa Towers, Milky Way. Mono Lake South Tufa, Lee Vining, CA. May 26, 2017. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.