Instructables
Picture of iPad Light Painting
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The handiness of the iPad with the touch screen and all the apps may make it a killer device for email and Angry Birds, but it's also pretty sweet for light painting. Paint messages and images in the air by sweeping the iPad in front of a camera with a sloooow shutter speed.

Sound good? Let's do it.

Step 1: What you need

Picture of What you need
OK, let's get to light painting with an iPad. Here's what you need:
  • iPad. An iPhone or iPod Touch will also work.
  • Camera with shutter speeds of 10 seconds or longer and a manual mode. Bulb mode is handy.
  • Tripod
  • An app or two
  • A friend to help out. Optional.
If you have a DSLR, you're all set. If you have a compact digital camera you'll need to dig around in your camera's manual to see if you can choose a long shutter speed in manual mode. This can be tricky, but you'd be surprised how many little cameras have lots of hidden features.

Note: I'm sure cool stuff can be done with an Android device as well, but I don't have one. Feel free to post about any relevant Android apps in the comments.
 
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GRRRRRR I had 4 interruptions with huge adds on that short video! This is an AWESOME IDEA! I have got to try it! Thank you for posting this one!
NRoberts1 year ago
Thanks for the instructable!! FYI....just downloaded "Text Paint Pro FREE" for obviously free from the app store! Thanks for the write up!
The app "Photo Paint PRO HD" is currently getting terrible reviews. I purchased it myself and it has done nothing but crash for me. Currently there aren't a lot of other opportunities to do this with the iPad. Awesome tutorial though!
crudworks3 years ago
I was wondering when an instructable for this would turn up.
Quite inspiring even though I don't own one, my journalist friend got kicked out of a press confrence for asking "What does it do, other than being an oversized Ipod?"
This IPAD project some londers did is what got me interested in light graffiti
http://vimeo.com/15027389
Jakeg crudworks3 years ago
Well, Its just an oversized, overpriced iPod... Ahhhh, I guess you can expect that from Apple
fungus amungus (author)  Jakeg3 years ago
I don't own an iPad myself and don't intend to since I already have enough gadgets.

That said, the "oversized iPod" argument is basically what I've heard from lots of people until they've had some time to play with it and then they don't say that any more. With 14+ million iPads out there and everyone else trying to catch up with their own tablets, it's pretty clear that the format is here to stay.
I can't believe how completely wrong people are thinking an iPad is just an "oversized iPod"

They lack the vision to see the truth, that an iPod is actually just an undersized iPad ;^)
Drigax gfc623 years ago
No, It's just an oversized iPod. it absolutely fails to bring anything new to the table. Sure, the size is eye catching, but after 5 minutes of usage, it is apparent that it does nothing absolutely nothing differently from the 2007 iPod. The only difference is that its rounder, larger, and twice the price with only twice the storage.
ghicken Drigax3 years ago
The iPad was designed first but ended up being sold second, so officially the iPod is a small iPad.
hintss ghicken3 years ago
it was CONCEIVED first. they had the idea, but they made the iPhone and stuff first.
gfc62 Drigax3 years ago
Apparently I had 'sarcasm ' turned down way too low when I typed my earlier post.

The two are obviously intended for different audiences and purposes. Who would buy an iPad just because they though an iPod is too small? While I'll concede that iPods may be purchased because the iPad was too expensive, that's an issue different than size.

While it might not be obvious after just 5 minutes, switching your development target from iPod to iPad will quickly make a huge change in the type of applications you can create. Saying it's just a bigger iPod dismisses the added potential the iPad provides to developers.

If your 2007 1st gen iPod Touch and iOS 3 have all the memory, speed, and screen quality that you need, that means it's a good choice for you. I don't see how that means the iPad "absolutely fails to bring anything new to the table" Is it possible that others have different needs and expectations than you do?
Still ipad cant beat a tAblet
uwe3 years ago
Thank you for bringing up the topic light painting.

It made me think about an older programming project i was working on (a simplistic J2ME light paint application for my goog old mobil phone (nokia 6630)).
I lost the ability to build stuff for my phone about 1.5 years ago when the win xp on my PC died. But your instructable made me bring up all the stuff on my (no so new) ubuntu.

I'm still struggling to bring up cool photographs (long time exposure is tricky ...), but the attached picture (showing an "O") is one of the first i made with my newly build J2ME application.
simplistic_light_painting_O.JPG
can i have the app?
Sorry, the app is actual in a very rough draft status. No something i can handle out to somebody ...

When i find the time to polish it Iĺ think about opening it to a wider audience ...
ploomus3 years ago
Great shots
I think you missed the point...

It's for playing around with old school 8-bit character holographs. It's not a professional photography tool. It's not a "light painting" tool. It's just 99 cents worth of geeking out.

8-bit is retro old school style. No frills. Being stuck in caps seems quite fitting. Using keyboard symbols for your character reference a la ms dos is true to theme. 8-bit letters & characters are meant to have choppy edges and blurred colors. It displays in columns because it's working pixels like a bada** graph paper pad inside your ipad. Past+future.

Personally, I think that's awesome. My fun dial is way up, yo.
fungus amungus (author)  ontheperipheral3 years ago
The point is whether it works. It doesn't.
But it looks like from your pictures of it, that it worked just fine?
Nice instructable! I couldnt figure out the app on my ipad, but I did take a light painting!

marisa's light capture.JPG
Instructables should really add a "Like" button to comment....:D
I would like that if I could.
Oh, the irony :P
Retrobot3 years ago
Cool tut.

now all you need is a nice flash sync to include yourself in the photo.

waiting to my iphone to be delivered in a few weeks then will post my trials here.

fungus amungus (author)  Retrobot3 years ago
Yeah, easy enough. Just turn on the flash. That gives you a flash in the beginning and you paint from there. Some cameras let you have the flash at the end.

Of course, this is meant to be one more trick in the light painter's arsenal. Add it to the camera flash, the handheld camera flash (for side flashes), LEDs, flashlights, sparklers, lighters, gels, and whatever else.

Hope you have fun with it.
XOIIO3 years ago
Shit, now i want an ipad.

Is photo paint available for the ipod touch?
fungus amungus (author)  XOIIO3 years ago
Yes it is.
Nachimir3 years ago
There's also Penki:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/penki/id402699957?mt=8
fungus amungus (author)  Nachimir3 years ago
Yes, good one. Funny that you commented about that. I just saw it this morning when searching for Android light painting apps.
Awesome :D
Lindie3 years ago
Very cool!
SenKat3 years ago
VERY cool ! I have a decent DSLR - no IPAD, but do have an Android tablet, so I might have to give it a whirl ! Thanks for the intense artwork, and killer ideas !