Get festive outdoor photos with light painting!


Wheeler Hut, B.C. CanadaMake sure you look at all three photos in this post to see the before/after

It was a cool festive evening at wheeler hut as the moon rose in the foggy night sky. A long day of backcountry skiing was well rewarded with hot chocolate, and a delicious meal. Even though we were “in the sticks” I couldn’t help but cook a hearty meal with turkey stuffing, asparagus and boursin stuffed chicken breast, can you tell I love food? A game of jenga on the dinner table brings bouts of laughter as we tell stories by the cozy wooden fireplace.

Photographic Details: I found the angle and composition I was looking for to show the front of this beautiful hut with the moon shining behind it but the hut itself was dark in the photograph. I had to add some light if I wanted the logs and the white fluffy trees to be visible. I knew I would be getting shots like this so I planned ahead to bring my massive maglite, it’s my favourite light painting tools as I can focus the beam of light and it’s bright enough to be very useful photographically.

Before Photo:

You can see the first photo is atmospheric but I had a vision for more detail in this photo.

So I set my camera on a timer on a tripod stuck in the snow and frantically ran to the right of the camera with my maglite (not easy in deep snow). Once I heard the click of my shutter set at 15 seconds I shined the light on every part of the photo that I wanted illuminated. I made sure to light up the part of the tree by the moon to help draw the eye toward the sky, I wiggled my flashlight all over the skiis, snow and front of the cabin. After 15 seconds my camera finished it’s exposure and the light that I shone in that timespan was “painted” onto the surface of everything it touched.

After Photo:

You can see the result is dramatically different and the image has a much brighter feel. Be sure to try standing in different places and avoid light painting from behind the camera, a light source too close to the camera may look too much like an in camera flash which doesn’t produce flattering results. light painting is a great way of illuminating subjects at night, the beauty of it is that you don’t have to be exact, and it’s easy enough to have a flashlight handy in your kit!

Lighting Diagram:

15s f/2.8 ISO800 50mm



Wheeler hut marshmallow land


From the holiday collection http://www.kylefoto.comB.C. Canada

Wheeler hut is one of the most accessible alpine huts in B.C. Canada. That being said it was covered enough of the legendary marshmallowy winter powder to get me to sink to my chest. There was no hope of me getting far enough outside the hut to get a photo without my skis on. Setting up my tripod to get this 30 second exposure was also a challenge, as my poles kept sinking in the snow. The warm glow of the hut windows are welcoming as the final minutes of the "blue hour" past sunset wained into darkness.

Canon 5D Mark II 30s f/2.8 ISO800 50mm

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