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Outdoor Photography Be Flexible

Outdoor Photography Be Flexible

I had been planning a photo trip to Apache Lake in Arizona for a long time. I had been wanting to photography long exposure star and universe images in a location that would not have ambient light coming from our modern cities and get a clear shot to the stars above.

Apache Lake was a perfect spot. I had camped there before and wanted to go back to a wonderful location that had the lake in front of the camp ground and mountain ridges all around. The trip was a long way from Phoenix and the mountains shielded our location from city lights.

I decided on taking my 7-year-old son and a 14-year-old nephew. It would be a great guy’s day/night out. We would build a camp fire, cook around a outdoor grill and sleep in sleeping bags and have fun taking images together.

 But I had one BIG problem!

The clouds had rolled in and I could not see the sky at all when we finally got to the location.

Long exposure outline of the stars and mountains I painted a Saguaro Cactus with fire.

I knew that is what I would do. You put your camera on a tripod and open your lens manually and then take your flash light and go around a object. I wanted to do this with cactuses and other desert flora with the lake in the background.

I set up everything and realized the batteries were dead in the flash light.

No Way!! I thought of everything but that. What was I thinking!

Outdoor Photography Be Flexible

My last name painted with light. Can you see the stars poking out?

Outdoor Photography Be Flexible

My nephew painting his name “Brandon” with fire stick.

I switched to plan C as I thought of what to do next. I kept the camera on the tripod and decided the boys and I would paint with light using small branches that had been burning in the fire.

Yes, I could have done these same images in my backyard but I think it was a somewhat good recovery for the night time images that was fun and I think the boys learned something in the process as well as me.

I already had something planned for the next day that would make the photo trip worthwhile.

Outdoor Photography Be Flexible

Who doesn’t love a cross with a fire stick?

Outdoor Photography Be Flexible

…and who doesn’t love a heart with a fire stick!

Next week I will post a blog on the second half of our photo trip and the beautiful HDR images I took on our trip back from the lake on a very scenic drive.

The partly cloudy skies were just perfect for this type of photography.

See you then!  

Outdoor Photography Be Flexible