Lake Powell Night Photography is one of the most exciting ways to capture the desert landscape. Take an already amazing location, and add wild fill light, and the milky way above – and you’ve created something magical.
Of course Night Photography Tips can be used more places than just Lake Powell… anywhere you can get away from the city light. Where I first learned about night light painting exposures back in the 90’s was from a photographer working near Barstow, CA, photographing abandoned and stripped out airliners. He would use a camera flash with different colored gels to turn an old piece of trash metal into a glowing orb of awesomeness.
Lake Powell Night Photography Tip #1: Experiment with fill light! The green you see in the image above was from a 4′ long submersible green fluorescent light made to attract fish at night. It also makes an awesome fill light, especially when contrasted with a color like the orange glow of a campfire.
If you don’t have a 4′ light, you can improvise. Bring a large mag-lite, and use colored gels over the lens to literally ‘paint’ things in the image, while the camera is on a tripod, the lens is opened for 30 seconds (less if you want to have people with no blurring… unless they are REALLY good at holding still), and play around with the exposure settings. ISO of 400-800 is a good place to start, and maybe a stop or two down from wide open. If that’s greek to you, consider coming to our workshop… I’ll give you a crash course in how to get the best out of your camera.
Also, when ‘painting’ in light, remember to leave some parts dark… too much of a good thing, is well, too much. And one of my other favorite things to do is to walk into the composition during the exposure, and turn the flashlight bulb to the camera, and move it in sweeping motions, producing spectacular light trails in the image.
It’s like anything… the more you do it… learn what works and what doesn’t… the better you’ll get. The most important part is just to keep experimenting.
Stay tuned for more Lake Powell Night Photography Tips. !!