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Light Painting Lemonade

As a professional photographer, I am challenged to come up with the most attractive photographs, regardless of the weather conditions that are encountered. Here in Delaware, the weather is quite variable. One can hardly predict when we will have a sunny day, especially when a job is scheduled a week in advance. 

Such was the case recently. Because it faced north, this lovely home needed to be photographed either first thing in the morning or during dusk, which occurs very late this time of year. There is a neat little graphic on the NOAA website which predicts sky cover, presented as a percentage of the sky that is covered by clouds. It can be pretty accurate about a day or two in advance. The morning of scheduled photography would have about 76% sky cover, but it would clear as the day wore on.

There was some sunshine as I drove toward the location and I quickly grabbed a handheld sunlit front elevation as the sky seemed to be clouding up. Indeed it did. The sun went under in a few seconds, not to return for some time. Here is a view of the home in the sun. It was very cloudy, so the sky behind the house is intensified to make it look better.

 Normal daylight elevation with enhanced sky.

Normal daylight elevation with enhanced sky.

There were two good views of the home. I liked the three dimensional look of the view down the driveway from the right side. The sky was fully clouded over by now and another solution was needed.  I put the camera on the tripod, and with a remote shutter release and radio slave, I could paint the house with light. It might look something like a dusk photograph.

Here is the house at the existing conditions and two of the eight pieces:

 The sky was very overcast. It was dark enough that lights were visible inside the house.

The sky was very overcast. It was dark enough that lights were visible inside the house.

 Making one of the images very blue and saturating the sky provided the piece needed to paint in the sky.

Making one of the images very blue and saturating the sky provided the piece needed to paint in the sky.

 A flash unit on a light stand adding accent light around the front door. Photographs like this were made at all the points that I wanted to accent.

A flash unit on a light stand adding accent light around the front door. Photographs like this were made at all the points that I wanted to accent.

 

With some trial and error, I got all the pieces I needed. It was actually raining lightly as I made the last few images. I used Lightroom to select the final images, then matched their colors and intensities. These images were layered in Photoshop using brushes and masking to complete the final photograph.