Starry Starry Night | Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Light Painted Ocotillo | Anza Borrego Desert State Park | Night Sky Stars

A bit of night photography in Anza Borrego

As I was thinking of a title for this post, Josh Groban’s song Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) came to mind. I did a bit of research on this song and found out, thanks to Wikipedia, that this song is a tribute to Vincent van Gogh and a reference to his painting, The Starry Night. While I am no van Gogh, I think Starry Starry Night works well as a title for this post considering the brilliant stars in the Anza Borrego night sky.

Light Painted Ocotillo | Anza Borrego Desert State Park | Night Sky Stars

This photo uses a technique called “Light Painting” and it is a ton of fun! To get this effect you use a long shutter speed to capture the stars and background, then for a few seconds you light up the subject with a flashlight.

My settings for this shot were 30 sec. at f/4, ISO 400. After about 15-20 seconds I turned on the flashlight and “painted” the ocotillo with light. I really love this effect! The amount of time to “paint” the light depends on how bright your flashlight is, the size of the subject, and your distance from the subject.

If you try out this technique take time to play with it. It may take a few tries to get the lighting just right, but I hope you will have fun doing it! Please share a link to your “light painting” photos in the comments. I’d love to see them!

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