Instructables

Step 2: The basic principle

Picture of The basic principle
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The basic principle when it comes to light painting is that you capture the light as it moves from one point in space and time to another. To do this you need to set your camera to full manual mode. Then you set the exposure time to at least a few seconds, we ended up using between 5 and 20 seconds depending how much we had going on in each frame.

To get a sharp image you will want to fix the camera to something, a decent tripod will get the job done. To avoid differences in focus set the focus manually and keep it set for each animation sequence (you can still adjust it manually as your subject moves / do a focus pull). another thing to try is to move the camera a tiny bit in one direction for each frame, in a straight line or rotationg around your subject, creating the illusion of camera motion.

An added bonus of using a still camera is the amazing image quality you can get even out of the most basic digital camera compared to a consumer video-camera, you could make your end video in full HD resolution.
 
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