Night Photography Using Light Painting and Exposure Stacking

Photographs made using advanced light painting techniques often look as if they’d require a crew of a dozen assistants to achieve. But some artists have developed creative methods for making these elaborate images single-handedly. Photographer Russell Brown creates complex light paintings on his own using a Westcott Ice Light, colored gels, textural patterns, and exposure stacking. In this video, he demonstrates how he used a soft box lighting technique and image blending in Photoshop to create a stunning image of the Charcoal Kilns in Death Valley, California:

Brown says he would have liked to create his image with a single exposure, but he appreciates the control he gains by using multiple light painting images. During his night in the desert, he took multiple images, painting a different portion of the scene with a Westcott Ice Light for each exposure. He saved seven images as smart objects in Photoshop and stacked them as separate layers to combine them for the final result.


Final product of the exposure blending

For further training: The Photography Creative Kit XXL

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