Nikon D600, ISO400, 20 seconds at f8, NIKKOR 14-24mm f2.8 lens, WB 4000K ... Lightpainting and Moon light.
This location is the famous Moulton Barn on Mormon Row in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I have photographed it dozens of times, but as you might expect, many of my images of this iconic landmark are Lightpainted.
Photographers typically think that Lightpainting while the moon is high won’t produce a good image. Actually, allowing a quarter or half-moon (this image) to produce some ambient light works quite well.
No, we don’t have the Milky Way high above, but what the moon light does offer is enough ambient light to reveal the Teton Range and western landscape, which on a moonless night would be completely dark.
With my camera secured to a sturdy tripod I set my Manual exposure to underexpose the scene by about 2 stops: ISO400, 20 seconds at f8. Now, with the moon light doing most of the “lighting” I add a little bit of Lightpainting to raise the exposure on the barn, tall grass, fence line and tree. My WB is 4000K which keeps the moon lit night sky a cool blue, while the spotlight I use adds warm light to the subject and peripherals.
Currently, my preferred spotlight is the: RL-85 made by Larson Electronics ... it is a hand-held, rechargeable incandescent spot light that produces 5 million candles. There are several choices, just GOOGLE Million Candle Spotlights.
I believe for Lightpainting to photographically look its best the light should be applied from an off camera location that is almost 70-80 degrees to the side of the main subject. This can be difficult with a large landscape Lightpainting as there may be obstacles in the way, but do your best to walk off camera and cut an angle of light on the subject.
You can use the cameras built-in Self-Timer at 20 seconds to give yourself time to walk off-camera and Lightpaint, or a Remote Trigger works as well.
Finally ... You don’t have to Lightpaint everything ... Only light the parts of the picture you want people to really look at ... “Less is More”
Hope this mini-tutorial is helpful. @nikonusa @nikonambassadors