Palouse Falls Night

Equipment Info
28mm / f/4.5 / 30 sec. / ISO 800
Nearest Area
palouse falls state park

Pentax K-1, Pentax 28-105 lens set at 28 mm, f4.5, 30 seconds, ISO 800, and hand-held spot light


Palouse Falls in eastern Washington State is a spectacular waterfall that plummets 200 feet into a natural amphitheater. The first time I went there in 2017, I wanted to try some night photos of the falls using light painting. That afternoon I scouted a location by the rim and checked with several other photographers who were also camping in the park that night to make sure that I would not interfere with any photography they might be planning. That night I returned and took a series of photographs with the goal of highlighting the waterfall and making the adjacent walls of the amphitheater recede into the darkness. For each photograph I separated the scene into different zones, and painted each zone with a spot light, counting the time I painted each zone. For each exposure, I experimented with the length of time I painted each zone until I achieved the lighting effect I wanted. It wasn’t so much a matter of working the scene by changing my position or camera settings, but more by changing how I lighted different parts of the scene as the series of exposures progressed. It was a challenging shoot, both because of the complicated lighting process and because I am afraid of heights.

Date Added
December 14, 2020
Date Taken
May 2, 2017