Alone in the Dark - Behind The Photo

Padley Gorge in the Peak District captivated me on my first visit. Once night falls the twisted Sessile Oaks and moss covered rocks came alive. As locations for Lightpainting go, they don't come much better.

It takes me about an hour to get there from home and this gives me ample time to formulate a plan of what I want to create when it gets dark enough.

Usually I shoot a particular area at Padley, inside a tunnel of the twisted Oaks but on this occasion I decided to photograph the other side of the river, to focus on a more expansive vista and this rather imposing tree.

I set my tripod down and framed my shot, insuring that my figure would appear in the bottom right hand third of the frame. Next I placed 3 high power torches around the scene, out of sight of the camera which illuminated the different areas to my satisfaction. This has an element of trial and error so lots of trips back to the camera to check the coverage of light. There was a little bit of mist in the air too which separated my silhouette from the background and created some beautiful beams streaming through the foliage. I fired the camera shutter on a 10 second timer, followed by a quick dash to my position beneath the mighty tree and let the exposure burn in for 10 seconds or so whilst I held perfectly still.

Negotiating Padley Gorge in the dark is always a challenge due to the slippery and uneven floor and balancing the exposure of all of the torches was the most challenging part. Tying to ensure all of the frame was exposed correctly was a bit of a headache but I got there after many trips back and forth to the camera to see the results.

Once happy with my shot it was time to pack up my gear for the drive home.

I shoot in raw, so once I was home and the kettle had boiled I sat down and processed the image in Lightroom with a nice cup of tea. I boosted the shadows a little and knocked back the highlights but that was about that. I try to keep post processing to a minimum with my Lightpainting work, as the holy grail in this field is to achieve all you desire inside the camera without the use of photoshop.

If you'd like to see more light painting on Steemit then give [@lightpaintershub](

Happy days.

Posted using Partiko Android

Comments 11

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Posted using Partiko iOS

12.01.2020 09:55

Cheers folks. You're awesome.

12.01.2020 11:22

Looks like something out of an alien abduction movie! Love it!

12.01.2020 10:17

Thanks Betty. I get that vibe from it too. One of your model shoots would look incredible amongst the twisted trees here. It's a special place.

12.01.2020 11:22

I can totally see this image as a book cover.

Curated to photography-curation in @c-squared on Discord.

12.01.2020 14:20

Thanks so much. When I set out to shoot I always aim to create something which tells a story. Thanks for stopping by.

12.01.2020 20:00

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12.01.2020 14:37

for any reason the lightning makes it looks like an old vintage Spielberg movie, like in ET or something :)

12.01.2020 16:51

That sounds good to me. Thanks very much :)

12.01.2020 18:20

Thanks for your entry @fadetoblack. Very nice to read how you set this shoot up, and the result looks a bit spooky... Good luck in the contest!

12.01.2020 21:07

Thanks very much. I always like to hear what my shots make people feel or think. Spooky is good :)

12.01.2020 22:13