processing ground frames with light painting

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
zurubi Contributing Member • Posts: 633
Re: processing ground frames with light painting

knight427 wrote:

Ideally, I'd practice light painting a subject until I could get it just right in camera while shooting low ISO. The real world often makes this impractical to impossible for lots of reasons I won't bore you with. I will strive to do better, but I'm here to get help with what I've got, not with what I wish I had.

The ground is a stack (median) of 7 frames. 13 seconds each, 24 mm, f/2.8, ISO 6400. I applied a lot of things to try to bring down the brightness of the mill , front trees and waterfall. (reduced contrast across entire frame, applied "darken" filter in PS)

I tried to bring back some contrast and saturation (selectively with dodging and burning in PS plus trying some luminance masking with the LR brush filter), but it still looks very flat. I'm looking for processing tips to keep the brightness low, but give the Mill a "kick" and maybe make the rest of the ground frame look less dull.

Unrelated to that, I'm also reevaluating the perspective correction I used on the Mill. Does it look like it's wider near the roof than the foundation to you?

Even though this is an astro forum, I am a big fan of low-level lighting for the foreground (search the web, and especially the work of Wayne Pinkston). I know that some folks here criticize that type of approach, but art is subjective and and astroscapes are not faithful reproductions of our universe anyway.

It is very beneficial to invest in a low level led panel. Then you can use it at a super low level, better at something like 45 illumination angle  (I often cover it with bags or rags to make it more diffuse). And also use a warm temperature either using gels or dial in if the panel has that. They are cheap.

Your lighting is harsh and  too cool. If you separate foreground and background in PP, then the temperature can be corrected in PP. The harshness is more difficult to get right with a flashlight (that shadow on the left is an example). If I have no choice but to light paint, I use a flashlight that has a warm LED to begin with and also cover it with bubble wrap or whatever I have around. I often have to combine different frames that I light painted with masking in PP.  Hope this helps.

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