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Creating The Shot: Night Coil & Halo

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

Well, it's been a little while since I wrote my last blog post. Over the fall I spent a lot of time focusing on my rehab for my knee and not as much time out shooting photos for myself. I got back on snow and had a fantastic winter and then everything came to a complete stop, which I can assume you know why. Covid-19 stopped everything in its tracks and put a complete stop to my work. Luckily for me, the 'Shelter in Place' was quite easy for me after last year's knee surgery where I spent 8 weeks on crutches, and most of that time sitting on the couch.

Fast forward to the beginning of May and my need to get out to shoot photos began to grow. I had been going out on occasion to shoot, but really wanted to get back to photographing the stars. Milky Way season had started up so my buddy Dylan and I set up a plan to go out and shoot. We both decided on a location, Bonsai Rock, and set a date and time to go. Unfortunately, that time that we were going out to shoot meant setting the alarm for 3 AM.

We both had ideas for what we wanted to shoot and I certainly had a few that were a bit different. One of my ideas didn't work for the location that was available so I will be saving that one to try for another night, but my second idea did, drone painting. I had been thinking about this idea for years and put it to work last year while creating another image which you can read about here. Inspired by Reuban Wu, I attempted to create some rings and light paint the water (I've added my very first light paint attempt at this spot years ago that I tried with a flashlight for laughs). Typically during the day, the east shore has a Caribbean color look to the water and I wanted to showcase that. As the sun was starting to come up we decided the results weren't quite there yet so we'd come back the following day.

Another 3 AM alarm, and it was back to Bonsai with a plan already in mind and a few extra tools to help perfect the shot. After getting the settings dialed, it was time to start crafting the ring. Within 3 shots, I created the exact image I wanted ('Halo', top row, right). I tried another angle that I had tried out the night before and got another shot that I was thrilled with (row two images).

As blue hour started to approach I tried setting up for another set of images. I still had 1 full battery left for my drone so I figured why not try something different and this is where 'Night Coils' was born (top row, left). After seeing the results it has inspired me to go and create a series of images with the same sort of look. A large list of locations is being crafted as I write this and I can't wait to share them with you.

Thank you very much for stopping by to read this blog. I hope it inspires you to go out and create and enjoy this beautiful location under a new light (pun intended ;))


BTS Shot: Dylan Allgor

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