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Sat Jul 16, 2022, 06:49 PM

Light painting in the California Desert.

I recently had the opportunity to join several other photographers for an evening of "light painting" in the California Desert. Light painting is a technique where one can create a long exposure of the pitch black night sky, often including the Milky Way, while briefly lighting the foreground for a second or two with a hand held light. It takes a little practice, but the results can be dramatic. It helps if the photographer is working in an official "dark sky" area.

In this case the location was the Galleta Meadows Sculpture Gardens near the town of Borrego Springs in California's Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The park is east of Palm Springs not far from the Salton Sea. Daytime temperatures hit 106F, and the rattlesnakes and scorpions are abundant. (We saw several scorpions, and had to carefully check our camera bags for them when we were finished).

Dennis Avery, heir to the Avery Label fortune, was a resident of Borrego Springs. He purchased the land and commissioned the sculptor, Ricardo Breceda, to create one hundred and thirty metal sculptures, which are placed in the surrounding desert. It's a kick to drive around looking for them in the middle of nowhere. We were honored when Mr. Breceda joined us and hung out for about forty five minutes.

Some of the shots were lit with a small LED RGB light, some were lit with a laser pointer, and some were lit by an overhead drone. All of these exposure were twenty seconds long, and the light painting lasted about two seconds during that long exposure. A few of the softs are soft because due to the difficulty of focusing in pitch black circumstances.

Enjoy!





























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Reply Light painting in the California Desert. (Original post)
Grumpy Old Guy Jul 16 OP
Diamond_Dog Jul 16 #1
Grumpy Old Guy Jul 16 #4
CaliforniaPeggy Jul 16 #2
Grumpy Old Guy Jul 16 #5
2naSalit Jul 16 #3
Grumpy Old Guy Jul 16 #7
Cracklin Charlie Jul 16 #6
Chin music Jul 16 #8
MLAA Jul 16 #9
Grumpy Old Guy Jul 16 #13
MLAA Jul 16 #16
AndyS Jul 16 #10
Grumpy Old Guy Jul 16 #14
Ziggysmom Jul 16 #11
Grumpy Old Guy Jul 16 #17
ShazamIam Jul 16 #12
Grumpy Old Guy Jul 16 #18
George McGovern Jul 16 #15
Grumpy Old Guy Jul 16 #19

Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 06:53 PM

1. Those are simply stunning, Grumpy Old Guy!

What an interesting experience. Iíll bet it was a blast!

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Response to Diamond_Dog (Reply #1)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 07:38 PM

4. It was indeed a blast!

I'm already planning my next trip there.

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 06:54 PM

2. Wow, my dear Grumpy! These are fabulous and fascinating!

The different combinations of color and light are astonishing to my eyes.

The stars show up quite well in a lot of these.

Lucky you..........and lucky us, getting to see your work.

Thank you!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 07:38 PM

5. Thank you dear Peggy!

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 07:05 PM

3. Wow, those are cool!

A friend tried that once when we were camping along the Green River, the pictures came out really well. We used the head lights on the motorcycle.

I spent a whole summer in that desert a long time ago, I like the artistic additions!

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 07:42 PM

7. It is fun.

I bet the motorcycle lights worked great. I won my first contest here with a photo of a cliff that was illuminated by the taillights of a nearby RV. The whole cliff was red.

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 07:39 PM

6. Tine phone screen.

I will wait for a proper screen.

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 07:47 PM

8. Nutty stuff.

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 07:51 PM

9. Great shots. Love the grasshoppers.

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Response to MLAA (Reply #9)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 08:12 PM

13. The grasshopper is about the size of a truck!

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Reply #13)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 09:19 PM

16. Holy moly!

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 08:02 PM

10. That is way cool! nt

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Response to AndyS (Reply #10)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 08:13 PM

14. Thanks Andy!

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 08:04 PM

11. Truly fabulous photos, thank you! I love Breceda's metal sculptures, you really made them

come alive in those night sky photos ❤️

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Response to Ziggysmom (Reply #11)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 09:45 PM

17. I'm determined to locate more of them.

He told he has some at a mall in Cabezon, some in Twenty Nine Palms, and a stagecoach in Norco.

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 08:04 PM

12. This is an impressive example of creative work that produces a mind expanding experience. Thanks OP.

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Response to ShazamIam (Reply #12)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 09:45 PM

18. Thanks!

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 08:45 PM

15. CREATIVITY BIG TIME! Neat!

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Response to George McGovern (Reply #15)

Sat Jul 16, 2022, 09:46 PM

19. Thanks George!

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