truck by moonlight

truck by moonlight

Originally uploaded by kaiyen

This is from a workshop in Death Valley that I did in November. It was a workshop on, essentially, nighttime long-exposure photography. This was shot on color slide film, and is a 45 minute exposure. You can see the rather long star trails that result from such a long shot.

This scene is illuminated solely by moonlight. The truck was behind a building and I had a lot of time to walk around the truck with a flashlight to illuminate it further. Inside the cab, for instance, I lit it up quite a bit along with just generally painting the truck so that it would come out brighter and with a bit more luminosity.

A lot of people doing this type of photography like to use all kinds of colored lights to produce very different effects. Many are really creative and impressive. My personal taste is to keep the shot a bit more natural-looking and use not much other than a basic flashlight for extra light.

Comments (6)

  1. Mrs.Smong

    Love the photo Allan … I wish I had this kind of talent : )

  2. kaiyen (Post author)

    Thanks. Though I have to say that it’s basically “set up camera, open shutter, wait 45 minutes” with stuff like this. The magic is when I actually receive the film back. Who knows until then 🙂

  3. Debbie

    How do you walk around and shine light on the truck without making yourself a blurred presence in the photo or somehow altering/messing up the shot? I’ve never done long exposure photography before.

  4. kaiyen (Post author)

    With a 45 minute exposure, the amount of time that I am in any one spot is very short compared to the overall exposure. I might be to the right of the truck cab for, say, 1 minute total. I’m there for such a short amount of time and unless I were shining a light on myself it’s almost impossible for me to show up. I’ve done 2 minute exposures where I have walked through them and not showed up, though again I am only ever in one spot for just a fraction of the total time. Kinda freaky, but it works.

  5. wabes

    that’s so amazing! i was also going to ask how you make yourself disappear…but clearly, it’s that fascinating mix of technology, talent, and magic. do you ever get to do your own darkroom stuff?

  6. kaiyen (Post author)

    I do all of my own B&W film development, and then scan from there (unless it’s large format, which I still wet-print because it’s just cool :-). I don’t do my own color development, though – it’s just not cost effective. I have fun with the B&W film, though..

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