A great way to create extra ‘mood’ when taking photos of landscapes at night is to ‘paint with light’. You do this by using a strong torch and throwing extra light onto the main subject of your image, such as rocks or trees.
Firstly, you need to use a sturdy tripod and a cable release or remote, to stop any ‘camera shake’. Compose your image so that the sky is visible, with your main subject the main feature. If you want to capture the stars but don’t want to have streaks appear in your image due to them moving, your shutter needs to be around 30 seconds or a tad slower. During that time, use a strong torch and evenly ‘paint’ the subject, so that no one area of your image has too much light, while the other is under lit. Also use a low ISO, to reduce any ‘noise’ in the image.
Using a headlamp makes it possible to see the settings on your camera, while freeing up your hands. I strongly recommend using one!!
For the image featured here, taken of the Devil’s Marbles in the Northern Territory, Australia, I used a very strong torch and moved it around the rocks from left to right, up and down and also in a circular motion. This minimised particular areas of the rock being too overblown with light. I needed a few attempts to get the exact effect I wanted, but in the end it worked a treat!
If you have a passion for wildlife, nature or travel photography and would love to go on a small-number, professional photography adventure, please get in touch with Michael Snedic at WildNature Photo Expeditions. You can call him on 0408 941 965 or fill in this Contact Form and he will get back to you ASAP.