We started out as nightscape photographers traveling to the darkest skies in the western United States to capture amazing photos of the night sky.
So we decided to pitch our idea of capturing a portrait under the Milky Way to one of our adventurous couples. We convinced them to accompany us out into the desert in the wee hours of the morning to see if we could bring this experiment to life. It didn’t take a lot convincing…as soon as we started painting the picture of a romantic night under the stars they were all for it, despite having to get all dolled up at 1am in the morning and driving to a remote area of the desert to escape the city lights.
The challenge with this type of photography is that we are mixing long exposure photography with flash.
If we allow too much light into the image, then we will loose the detail in the stars…and if we take too long of an exposure we risk turning the couple in the picture into see through ghosts. They have to stand perfectly still for 10-15 seconds while we capture the night sky and then we pop them with flash at the very end of the exposure to freeze them and make them visible in the photograph. The above images were not composites and there was very little Photoshop magic (just some basic adjustments to contrast and color temperature). They were captured in a single image.
Despite the hazards of the desert…you know coyotes, cactus, scorpions, and bob cats, we all had a great time. At the very end of our session we decided to bring out one of our favorite photography tools; the Pixelstick. This magic tool allows us to do some crazy light painting using colorful LEDs.