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Camera: Canon 5DII
Lens: Canon 24mm f/1.4L II
Shutter Speed: 25 sec.
Camera mounted on tripod
The approach to this scene was straightforward and simple: front of building + Milky May. I took a couple of test shots to find my composition (trial-and-error camera placement) and determine how the ambient light was hitting the building. The light from the neighboring structures (the ghost town is still inhabited) was faintly illuminating the old school.
Wes and I decided that it needed more light, and that it would also benefit from some internal light. We both took several exposures, each with a different light painting scheme.
My first exposure was with only ambient light and no light painting. I then took several where I light painted the exterior of the building from different locations and different patterns.
I actually had to light paint twice in each shot because Wes was shooting at the same Ev but at 60 seconds (about twice as long as my exposure). We'd trip our shutters at the same time, I'd then paint a little at first, then paint some more after my shutter closed and Wes' shutter was still open.
The shots with light in the interior of the building were tricky (mainly because the flooring was in bad shape and we had to carefully negotiate our way through on half-rotten floor joists in the dark). Between the two of us, we had enough small LED lights (covered with #204 orange gel filters) to place them inside the building to shine through four window openings and the doorway. The lights were left in position and turned on during the exposures. It took many tries and different light positions, but it finally worked.
I combined three different exposures in Photoshop to get the final result you see here. We actually spent so long working this scene that the Milky Way shifted significantly. I used the sky from my first photo (the ambient shot), the light-painted building exterior from one of the subsequent shots, and also the last shot with the interior lighting.