Light Painted Night Photography – A Great Read

I’ve loved photographing at night ever since my first photography class in high school. Everything at night is so different than what we are accustomed to seeing in daylight.
The land/cityscape changes, the sounds are different, people and wildlife act different, even the smells are different. The night offers a sense of tranquility often sought in the creative mindset. It’s a great world to be out and about in with a camera.
Every photography class I ever took offered at least one lesson in night photography and light painting. Even though I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to get out at night, I never really enjoyed the light painting part of the course. Somehow I couldn’t see how polluting a scene with light was enhancing what I could see in the dark.
A few years back I saw some light paintings from the rural desert region where I now reside and decided to search the web for more examples.
One of the first sites I came across was “Lost America” by Troy Paiva and I have been completely captivated with his work and light painting ever since. For the first time instead of seeing harsh light corrupting my sacred darkness I was seeing this form of work as an art, much like looking at how a person would paint or draw a picture.
Troy has a way of using light, colored or plain, to draw the finest details of his subject matter up and out of the darkness while retaining that special calm the shadows or darkness can revel. It truly is “painting with light”, the world as his canvas and the camera as the medium of capture.
A few months back I received an email offer from borrowlenses.com that listed Troy’s book “Light Painted Night Photography” as an ebook and immediately had to download a copy.
A fantastic read. He offers allot of tips and suggestions on how to create light paintings, from the initial equipment needed, basic camera settings and painting techniques to post production effects. He offers specific time to aperture ratios, temperature settings, angle techniques for throwing light, almost any scientific concept one might think they need to get started in light painting.
What makes the book a great read for me though is it’s obvious Troy loves what he is doing and enjoys sharing this art with others. There are plenty of examples of his work showing how an image was created, but also many comments about how a fellow workshop attendee had a light that inspired him or sat motionless to help capture the shot.
I’m still trying to balance finances and time to attend one of Troy’s workshops, but until then I’m glad he shared some more with this ebook. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in night photography, light painting or even basic lighting techniques.