I have been in Moab a lot lately, two assignments and one workshop, always enjoy getting back to the desert. One night I went out to a boulder with some petroglyphs, and tried some lightpainting with my D3s. Since the noise performance of this camera is hard to believe, I experimented with both long and short exposures for differrent effects with the stars. I really liked how the stars rendered sharp with exposures around 20 seconds, which required an ISO of 3200…hardly any noise, amazing!
I like my white balance set around 3000 Kelvin for the deep blue skies it produces, but wasn’t that happy with how flat the rock and petroglyphs came out.
With my white balance set to around 6000 Kelvin, the rock looked good. To solve this white balance issue, I saved two copies of the original raw file, one with a white balance for the sky, and the other for a good white balance for the rock. Then I combined the two in CS4, and brushed back in the warm rock in the cool blue sky shot. The top image is the result. Tech: D3s, 14-24mm, 20 seconds at F4, ISO 3200.