Maurepas Swamp WMA trip results in amazing nighttime photos

This old, abandoned camp deep in the Maurepas Swamp WMA was lighted at night as part of my "Swamp After Dark" photography project.

I headed out into the massive Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area recently to track down an old hunting camp as part of my nighttime photography project, and I wasn't disappointed when I arrived. The old camp once served as headquarters for local outdoorsmen, but was abandoned when the property was sold to the state of Louisiana as part of the public tract of land.

It now serves as a reminder of days gone by, and was a perfect candidate for a technique called "light painting," whereby I use lights to bring out parts of the swamp after sunset has plunged everything into darkness.

The evening was just stunning, with only the occasional hoot of an owl or the splash of a fish to break the silence. I did have a few problems with which to contend, however.

First, a super moon rose early, casting its bright light over the swamp from behind. That created a lot of exposure problems, but I managed to capture one photo with the yellow moonlight breaking through the Spanish moss-draped cypress trees before it rose so high that it really ruined the scene from that vantage point. The resulting photo can be seen below.

Not to fear: I simply adjusted my angle and captured the top image, which is my favorite of the two.

Also, I had two of my three lights toppled into the water. Shockingly, water and electricity don't mix well, and the lights quickly blinked out. By that time, however, I had captured the juice.

I had a lot of fun with these two photos, allowing my Facebook fans to vote on their favorite version. The image at the top of this page was the resounding winner of this poll.

Prints of each image are available: Just click the images to learn about the options and pricing. 

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A super moon shines through the Spanish moss-draped cypress trees overlooking an abandoned camp deep in the Maurepas Swamp WMA.