Light painting with drones has become quite popular over the last couple of years, but it’s still an extremely challenging thing to do. Achieving great results relies on a lot of factors. You need the right exposure for the ambient lit environment, you need the right brightness output on your drone’s lights and you need to fly your drones in just the right path relative to the camera (and at a consistent speed) to get nice clean lines of even colour.
That’s what makes this night sky light painting by Frodo Álvarez (who goes by the name Children of Darklight) so impressive. The video’s in Spanish, so you may need to turn on auto-translate, but he used five drones to create this amazing image of a footballer about to kick a ball, all floating above a football field. Yes, sorry America, this is football to the rest of the world.
According to PetaPixel, Álvarez has been light painting since 2009 and turned to doing it professionally in 2015. He’s worked with lights attached to drones in the past, to show the flightpaths drones would take on courses at competitions. This opened him up to the potential of light painting with drones. So, when he was approached by Creartys to create an image for a football championship, he knew exactly what he wanted to do.
He worked with a company called UMILES Drone Light Show and their team to design and paint the footballer in the sky, which took five drones to achieve in order to get everything painted with the right exposure and they were limited in the number of attempts they were able to make as the result of an 11pm curfew due to COVID restrictions, not to mention the life of the drone batteries.
The image was created using an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and the Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro lens. The grass was light painted, too, with a Light Painting Paradise filter pair of Ledlenser MT18 lights filtered green. The ball the player is about to kick was also light painted using the Ball of Light tool.
It’s a very cool final result. I couldn’t imagine trying to plan something this complex!