Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Omni-directional Light Painting by Shayne Shaw

"Golden Turret" - Light painted Turret Arch, in Arches National Park ~ © Shayne Shaw
Sony A7R with a Bower 14mm f/2.8 @ f/2.8, 20 sec, ISO 6400. Stationary light-painted with
one F&V Z96 LED light panel on the outside and one CREE XLamp on the inside of the arch.
In several recent posts I've talked about the benefits of stationary light painting and using omni-directional lights like the GE Chromalit and the Life Gear mini LED lanterns to cast light in all directions. These are great for lighting the interiors of old buildings and inside natural arches. The best omni-directional lights typically have LED bulbs, so they are very cold or blue in their white balance rendering. Until now, I've had to resort to using gels or filters taped over the lights. Shayne Shaw has discovered a warmer and compact LED light that solves this problem. He is using the CREE XLamp Warm White LED Camping Lantern (CREE 40426 - 110 Lumens). It's small in size (5" x 2" x 2.5", uses 3 AA batteries (Alkaline Duracell batteries are included), and has long battery life: 24 hours on High, 48 hours on Low, 55 hours on Flashing mode.

Shayne Shaw has been on two of my NightScape workshops, but has gone on to produce his own night works, with some going way beyond what I have taught him. I'll let Shayne tell how his Turret Arch image was created:

"This image had been planned out for a couple of months. Because of excessive clouds, an attempt to shoot Turret arch and the North and South Windows arches earlier in summer was unsuccessful. For my return visit a couple of months later I had envisioned getting a unique angle of Turret arch with a nice glow on the underside of the arch.  I knew exactly which lights I wanted to use and where I wanted to locate them. I knew I could use a Cree LED lantern set on the low setting to get the glow under the arch and the F&V Z96 LED light panel with the amber filter plate to light up the face of the arch. To my disappointment though, when I opened my bag with all my lights I noticed that I had left the amber filter plate to the Z-96 light at home, (about 4 hours away). I was really hoping to get the nice warm glow the plate adds to the white LED light.  Grudgingly, I decided to shoot the shot as planned, anyway.  To my delight, when I took a look at the first shot to see how the composition and lighting were turning out, I noticed how using the whiter light on the brown colored face of the rock actually helped make the warm glow of the arch stand out even more —making a much more dramatic shot than it would have been had I used the amber filter on the Z96!"

Here are two other night images Shayne shot, using the CREE XLamp on the inside of old buildings, with the Z-96 light panels to light the outside:

"Cisco House" ~ © Shayne Shaw • Sony A7R with a Bower 14mm f/2.8 @ f/2.8, 20 sec, ISO 6400.
Stationary light-painted with one F&V Z96 LED light panel on the outside (without amber filter to keep
outside of house looking white) and one CREE XLamp set in the doorway between two rooms of the house.
"Park City mining house" ~ © Shayne Shaw • Nikon D7000 with a Tokina 11-17mm at 11mm, f/2.8, ISO 1600.
Eighty 30-sec exposures blended together using Waguila Star trail stacker in Photoshop. Two CREE XLamps
were set in two different rooms of the house. An F&V Z96 light panel was used on the outside with the
amber filter to get a warm brown look from the aging wood of the house.
Shayne Shaw owns an industrial electrical design company called Redrock Electrical Design. He  also has a photography company called Beyond Infinity Photography specializing in commercial/industrial architectural photography and landscapes ( Shayne likes night photography because of the extra challenges shooting at night creates, but mostly because he likes how shooting almost anything at night can add intrigue, mysticism, and a special beauty that shooting in the daylight just can’t match. “You know you really nailed it when people ask 'Is this Real?',” says Shayne.


  1. Really nice post here. It seems the images are shot just once without layering. Is this usually the case with this kind of night shooting?

  2. Shayne and I both try to shoot our nightscapes in one shot as much as possible, and with as little photoshop layering as possible, other than adding simple contrast curves.

  3. Being a photographer just means you really love photography....!!

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  4. Great info, thanks! Just purchased two Z96 LED panels and a one Cree Xlamp. I do a lot of real estate photography and these look like they could be very useful.

  5. Great post your all photos are amazing and awesome .

    Thanks for this.
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