Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Light Painting the Town

Actually I was prepared to show off some nice Winter Wonderland images....but after a initial snow fall in mid/late November everything thawed and it is rather green outside now.
Perfect time though to make good on the promise to show you more of a pre-conference workshop that I took while attending the Photoshop World Conference in Las Vegas this fall.
The workshop was advertised as "Light painting the town" and the location was kept a secret. Sounded exciting to me! I imagined myself standing somewhere in Las Vegas and was wondering how we would be able to light paint in this bustling city...well we didn't.
After a quick introduction at the conference center we finally were informed of our destination: Nelson, Nevada.....

I had never heard about this ghost town, but it sure has a dramatic history. Called Eldorado by early Spaniards the town was later renamed to Nelson. From 1858 to 1945 it was the hub of a booming gold and silver mining industry, in fact one of the mines, Techatticup Mining camp was the most succesful mine in Nevada bringing in millions of dollars. It's remote location brought in lots of characters who hoped the authorities wouldn't go that far to look for them. An explosive and often deadly mix.

Now it is a picturesque ghost town with a stunning scenic backdrop.
Blockbusters like "3000 Miles to Graceland" have been filmed here and some of the remains as the crashed plane below are just adding to the charm.

After a quick 'go check out the place" it started to get dark and we got summoned for the practical part of our instruction. On the way to Nelson from Las Vegas we already had a quick theoretical part and all bodies cameras were dialed in to the right settings...now the fun started...

With all the old cars and artifacts around, there was lots to choose from, but what looked really easy when shown by the experienced instructor, Dave Black, turned out to be rather tricky doing it by yourself. Notice the light inside the car was still working, as well as the headlights? After 50 years of not being used....Not really, the inside light was my headlamp and the ghost in the image below turned on the headlights ;-)
Feel free to click on the images to enlarge them and have a better view of the details.

After a little practice I got the hang of it and had a lot of fun!

The museum/barn, the heart of nowadays Nelson

 old fire engine

water tower

Since setting up a light painting shot takes all your focus and many trials to get it right, time flew by and after what seemed only minutes, but was really about 3 hours, we were heading back to Vegas. Not too soon as I realized in the bus, we were dusty, dirty, sweaty, THIRSTY and utterly exhausted...but it was well worth it.