View Full Version : Pointing out the stars...

Morkel Erasmus
05-24-2010, 01:04 PM
This is the third installment of my recent "Starscapes" series. I am still very much in a learning phase here, especially with regards to painting the subjects, but I will get more practice on an upcoming trip to the Kalahari if the lions allow me :)

I treated this one with Noiseware Professional and very much like the results.

All honest crits most welcome! I wish I had included more foreground here, but the base was pretty much next to the gravel road which wouldn't have looked that "wild", and venturing further into the bush would have resulted in becoming some creature's dinner...(this was shot in the Madikwe Game Reserve).

Canon 7D with 10-22mm USM @ 10mm
f3.5 @ 30s @ ISO-1250
Painted trees with an off-camera flash, warmed up the exposure with warming filter in PS

Colin Knight
05-24-2010, 08:16 PM
You do some great work! I enjoy your posts, even if I don't have the expertise to comment on them. I do like the comp here very much. My first reaction was that the bush in the lower right is too bright. I would darken that a little. Also, the noise looks a little harsh in the lower parts of the horizon. But I agree that Noiseware Pro did well for you- ISO 1250 over 30 seconds is certainly pushing it! Still, I do wonder if it wouldn't benefit from a bit more NR.

That last statement gives us an idea of the dangers of the night over there! Be safe. =)

Again, enjoyed it. TFS!

Morkel Erasmus
05-24-2010, 11:56 PM
That last statement gives us an idea of the dangers of the night over there! Be safe. =)

thanks Colin!

just to emphasise - I was actually within a Big 5 Game Reserve when shooting this....if I shot this in the normal South African countryside I would have no chance of being mauled by a lion :):D

Robert Amoruso
05-25-2010, 06:41 AM

I agree that the bush is too bright and does match the more subtle tones of the other light-painted areas. Good decision on eliminating the road. I too like this one.

Dave Mills
05-25-2010, 07:56 AM
Hi Morkel, Nice job on this bringing out the stars and lighting the trees just enough IMO. Usually I like odd numbers but the 2 trees work well together. I agree about the bright bush taking one's eye away from the others subtle lighting.

Roman Kurywczak
05-25-2010, 08:51 AM
Hey Morkel,
You are seeing one of the biggest challenges when painting at night....keeping the lighting even! I think you did an excellent job on the trees as they have a nice depth and arent over done. The bush is an easy tone down! I think the trees work well as they progress in height but try some with more base next time.......just keep them darker if it isn't all that pleasing......you may be able to minimize the impact of it that way. Finding good working subjects is always challenging.......think Baobob or umbrealla acacia.......the form is so didtinct you may not even have to paint! Don't forget that you can get a small 81A or B gel filter to tape over the flash head. I do find that the longer you can paint......the more effective and smooth the light painting will be......for me longer is usually better!
Have fun on the next trip out.....but be warned....it can be addictive so you won't be getting any sleeep!

Morkel Erasmus
05-26-2010, 09:09 AM
thanks for the feedback everybody!!

here is a repost with the bush toned down some...

I am gonna try and do as much of this photography as possible on our upcoming trip to the Kalahari (as far as my wife, park authorities and the danger of lurking lions allows!), and will have dunes and camelthorn-acacias to use as subjects :)

Hilary Hann
05-26-2010, 07:44 PM
I like the repost with the toned down bush Morkel. Nice tones on the trees and I do like the colour on the horizon. Look forward to seeing what you get in the Kalahari. Can just see you running up and down the dunes late at night, "painting with light". :D

Colin Knight
05-26-2010, 07:46 PM
That did the trick for me! Nice!

Morkel Erasmus
05-27-2010, 07:22 AM
thanks Hilary & Colin!