Step 2: Find a Subject

For this instructable I chose to shoot a wonderful tree native to my area, the Joshua TreeJoshua Tree.

When selecting a subject consider what is around and behind it. The more isolated your subject the better. When you 'paint with light' everything your light touches will be illuminated. If the light spills onto other objects around or behind your subject they will be illuminated as well, distracting from the subject.

Also consider movement. When using the log exposures required for this technique any movement will blur, even slight ones you may not immediately notice.

Take note of this image as it represents the tree 'unpainted'. This image features the same 30 second exposure as most of the following examples
Painting with light is really an art. There are lots of techniques for creating this kind of art. I think photography means knowledge and creativity. You can take excellent photo if you have knowledge about the technique and if you are creative. You need to learn and practice a lot if you want to take breathtaking photographs and amaze people with your skills. This is actually how I improved myself. If you want learn this technique more, you can read this <a href="http://www.makeusknow.com/categories/arts&entertainment/photography-tricks-and-techniques-learn-advanced-photography.html" rel="nofollow">article about photography techniques.</a><br> <br>
Thanks so much for sharing this! It is totally cool. I hope I'll be able to try out this <a href="http://www.thinkgreenpaintingcorp.com" rel="nofollow">Kamloops painting</a> with light sometime really soon. I would love to see if I could imitate this. Thanks again for making this information available!
Good work. Joshua trees are a great subject in themselves. The laser painting really pops. I'm looking for plants to paint myself. Here's one from my backyard. .
that is breath taking.
That's really imaginative, the pics are great.
Why not stacking the pictures? Make completely different pictures with different light and stack the into one picture like this:<br><br>http://www.instructables.com/id/How-should-be-a-hi-res-photo-taken-from-one-view-w/
That's a very neat technique.<br><br>What draws me to painting with light is you become very much involved with the creation of the image, not just the capture of it. You are able to interact with it in real time.
http://www.solness.com.au/example-stories.php<br><br>this guy came to my school a year or 2 ago and showed us his works and how he does it too..... he's huge down under....<br><br>also for the record in no way does a phone substitute a torch for this type of photography.... no matter how close the subject is.... :P i tried.....
Very cool! Thanks for sharing.
Now i didn't read every coment, so I hope that I didn't repeat this, However does anyone else see the red dragon head towards the botom of the tree? Not the trunk of the tree, just the botom branches. <br> <br>Cool 'ible! I am going to give this a try.
ok, this is what I miss, awesome pics.<br><br> I have to know from someone who knows more then me. I do extended exposure like you, but I hit 8 to 20 minutes. but film is to hard to have developed anymore, and haven't found a digital that can handle this. if anyone knows, please let me in on the models. TIA
I would like to introduce you all to a totally different form of <strong>&quot;Painting with Light&quot;</strong> photography as described in Wikipedia.<br> <br> Discovered by <strong>John N. Cohen</strong> amazing pictures without a computer, darkroom, or any expensive equipment.<br> <br> John won many top international awards and had over 20 one-man exhibitions in USA and in Europe.<br> <br> <em>Please have a look at: -</em> <a href="http://www.jncohen.net/Painting_with_Light/index.htm " rel="nofollow">http://www.jncohen.net/Painting_with_Light/index.htm </a><br> <br> <em>Reference: -</em> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_painting#Technique_and_equipment " rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_painting#Technique_and_equipment </a><br> <br>
I really like the thoroughness of this instructable. Way to present a lot of information to be digested at ones own pace. My friend and I ended up in a dark tunnel, and though I didn't have a tripod, we made it work pretty well. These are just a few of the pictures. Most of them revolve around the idea of the same person in the shot repeated many times.
Tripod or not I like yours much better than my own. Very creative. Thanks for sharing them.
looks like a 3d picture
shes cute
Long exposure on a dashboard...on a rainy night.
My favorite photographer who uses this technique would be Chuen-Li Chan:
A hand held flash works great for this too. It takes a little more visualization. A flash is directional just like a flashlight, the only difference is it is brighter and a closer to white light.
I would like to make the suggestion that you remove the strap from your camera while on the tripod. Leaving the neck strap on your camera for this process could leave your pictures susceptible to motion if any wind catches the strap. Plus, it could get caught on your hands or your clothes.
I've never seen that ghosting idea before, very cool! I once shadowed a food photographer. He had a fiberoptic halogen light that he used to paint the dark spots of a photo (like the mint leaf in a cup of vanilla ice cream). That was probably one of the coolest things I'd seen.
Really nice! I'm sure i'll try it. kisses
Really beautiful photographs and a very interesting instructable! Definitely five stars!
There is a photographer, Eric Curry, that is doing some new stuff like painting with light. &lt;a rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; href=&quot;http://www.americanprideandpassion.com&quot;&gt;American Pride and Passion&lt;/a&gt; Most of his stuff is cool machines and vehicles. &lt;br/&gt;<br/>
Yeah, but this is ten times more artistic and creative than photoshop - this takes time, effort, planning and actually going outside ;-)
wow that is prety sweet. im definately gonna have to try this sometinme and i have to say you are an amazing photographer
This is a great technique, I like a lot to play with light and long exposures too. I always have with me like 4 different light sources. You can check out some flickr shots here:<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/paucc/sets/72157603266607871/">http://www.flickr.com/photos/paucc/sets/72157603266607871/</a><br/><br/>
I've always enjoyed playing with lighting in photographs. *bookmarks page*
This can be done using photoshop......just lower the opacity and duplicate the image.....lol
I remember close to 20 years ago an innovative photographer Aaron Jones creating a light painting craze in commercial photography. He created this light painting gadget that used a xenon bulb, fiber optics and a shutter system to paint light. It's a beautiful technique, but at one point was over used.
Very awesome idea and very well made Instructable. I'm not into photography really, but I still find the ideas very interesting.
This is really excellent! Thank you for laying out the technique so clearly.<br/><br/>There is a German photographer, <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.peterginter.de/index1.html">Peter Ginter</a> who uses this technique for many of his &quot;high tech&quot; series, including those at <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.peterginter.de/01technology/slac_01.html">SLAC</a> (c.f. my avatar, at left).<br/>
This is a fantastic Instructable! It's a technique I have played with a fair amount with other photography-inclined friends- my <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Minty-Strobe/">first Instructable</a> could be considered a similar idea, and one night after a lot of messing around with 1,000,000 candle power spotlights and long exposures we took this beautifully weird shot (of one person).<br/><br/>I think I'm going to have to experiment with this a bit more while it's still dark all the time.<br/><br/><sub>stupid winter...</sub><br/>
That's really neat! I have seen long exposure photography, but not really used as if it were a canvas and light was the paint. Nice 'able!

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