A Drone Lights Up The Night
Desert Sky from HIGHLIGHT by Ryland West and Paul Heran (cropped)

Drone lighting is a technique that’s taking off.

“By carefully crafting shadows to manipulate landscapes, we brought a certain surreality while maintaining a natural feel to each nightscape,” the photographers tells PetaPixel.

“We found it incredibly empowering to have this much control over what is shown and what is hidden in the photo. We were able to be extremely selective of where the light hit, and highlight only what we wanted in each frame,” the duo says.

West and Heran built a custom aerial lighting rig by attaching an LED light panel to a drone using two strips of Velcro.

The photos are composites created by shooting 20 to 30 different photos of a scene, with each one lit from a different location, and then stitched together by hand in Photoshop afterward (they found Photoshop’s auto-blend features to be unreliable for achieving the results they wanted).

You can view more photos from the project on its official website. The photographers’ current work can be found on their Instagram pages, @rylander_west and @paulheran.

While Desert Sky (above) is my favorite, this is a stunning collection of images. Tremendous skill is involved in pre-visualizing and compositing images like these.
read more at petapixel.com

 

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