Burned orange 1966 Lincoln with flame job — by Joe Reifer
Technical details: Three exposures of 7 minutes were stacked for 21 minute long star trails (7 minutes at f/9.5, ISO 200). There is a 1 second interval between exposures — any longer would show gaps in the star trails. The Canon 5D Mark II is clean at 7 minutes without the need for noise reduction, as long as the ambient temperature is not too warm.
On the first image I did not light paint. The 2nd and 3rd exposures had different light painting. After the first three images were complete, I reviewed the light painting on the back of the camera. The interior and side of the car looked great in image #3, but there was a hot spot above the front grill. I did a fourth exposure of 3 minutes at f/8 to re-do the light painting on the front of the car. Below are all 4 images in Lightroom.
Here are the steps involved in post-processing the final image:
- The first 3 images for stacking star trails were processed in Lightroom with identical settings
- The 4th image was processed in Lightroom just for the light painting
- On the top menu in Lightroom, I opened all four images into one file using: Photo — Edit In — Open as Layers in Photoshop
- The 2nd and 3rd image were set to Lighten blending mode to stack the star trails
- I selected the sky and made a layer mask on the second and third image to hide the light painting but keep the star trails
- I added a layer mask to the 4th image, and filled it with black
- Using a soft brush at 20% opacity, the light painting from the 3rd and 4th image was added using layer masks
- A Selective Color adjustment layer was used to make subtle changes to the color of the car and also the sky
I hope this behind the scenes look at creating a light painted image with long star trails is helpful.
Daylight savings time started last night for most of us in the U.S. — did you remember to change the clock on your digital camera? I went to change the time on my point & shoot, and realized that I never changed it the last time. So all of my photos from last fall until yesterday are an hour ahead.
Whether the time is off on your photos due to changing time zones when traveling, or just having the camera settings wrong, there is an easy fix in Lightroom:
1. In the Library Module, click on Metadata. Use the drop-down menus to pull up the Date and Camera options. The last time change was on November 1, 2009 — I selected November through present in the Date column, and then selected the camera that wasn’t set right. This gives me a set of images shot with a specific camera over a specific time range based on the EXIF data in the Lightroom database.
2. Select all of the photos, go to the Metadata menu at the very top of the screen, and choose Edit Capture Time:
3. The Edit Capture Time dialogue box appears. Choose Shift by set number of hours, and then -1 (minus one, because I forgot to “fall behind” last November). Lightroom shows you the Corrected Time before you commit the settings by clicking Change All.
That’s it — all of my point & shoot files now have the correct time. I hope you find this Lightroom tip useful!
Wolf Ridge, downstairs, San Francisco view — by Joe Reifer
I’ve just posted a gallery of night images from Wolf Ridge in Marin.
If you’re interested in taking a trip up to Wolf Ridge, check out Andy Frazer’s photography guide for this great location.
A Few Notes on Organizing Your Photos with Lightroom, and Exporting for the Web
Finding the images from Wolf Ridge in my Lightroom archive was easy — all of the shoots from Wolf Ridge have file and folder names with the same structure: wolfridge_YYYYMMDD_01.CR2. In the Grid View in Lightroom I selected Text — File Name — Starts With — wolf. Next I clicked on Attribute and selected a rating of 2 stars or better. I made a rough edit for the gallery by hitting the B key to add images for the gallery to a Quick Collection. After making the final selections, I proceeded to post-processing.
I was able to do post-processing for almost all of the images without bringing them into Photoshop. The image above was the only exception because I needed to do more complex tonal corrections for the sky and fog that required masking. When outputting for the web from Lightroom, I use a combination of capture sharpening in the Develop module (the Sharpening settings under Detail), and Output Sharpening under File — Export (typically set to Screen — Low).
A good starting place for capture sharpening with the 5D and 5D II is about 28% at .6 Radius, with Detail at 80 and Masking at 40. By zooming in to 100% view you can check the Detail and Masking settings by holding down the Option (Alt) key and dragging the sliders. The Masking control is really useful for night photography — just drag the slider until you only see star trails in the sky. This masks the areas of the sky with no detail — protecting you from enhancing any noise that may be present in the sky.
I hope you enjoy the new gallery, and that these Lightroom tips are useful!