Light Painting With an SLR Camera!




Introduction: Light Painting With an SLR Camera!

About: Hi! My name is Natalie! I have an awesome husband that lets me be a Play-at-home mom of 3! We homeschool and do projects daily! Check out my blog Doodlecraft for more awesomeness!

Light Painting, Light Writing or Light Graffiti is so much fun!
Seriously addicting!

Step 1: Gather Supplies!

To start, you'll need:
SLR camera  (35 mm Film or digital)
a tripod (or other steady surface)
flashlights, laser pens, glow sticks, sparklers, candles, lighters...anything that lights up!
and the dark.

And you might want some little assistants!

Step 2: Camera Set Up!

Let's set up the camera first.
(and I'll apologize in advance for my grainy phone pictures)
I used a Canon Rebel I'll show you how I set it up on that,
and you can find the corresponding buttons on your camera.

Set the camera to TV or Time Value.
This means you can set the time that your shutter stays open.

By turning this circled dial, I can change the time the shutter opens from
1/4000 of a second up to 30 seconds.

We set it for the full 30 seconds.
Which in some of the light art was too long...
so you'll have to play around with it a little.

I've got my ISO set to 100.

Step 3: Set Up the Assistants!

Now you just have to wait until it's dark outside...or find a dark room.

I set the camera up on the tripod and had my assistant pick a light.
My son got this flashing light wand.

I had him hold the wand about chest height so I could focus the camera on the light.
Then I clicked the button and let him play!

It's so fun to draw with the light in the air and
have the camera capture all the action!
Although it looks super boring in the pictures I took with the flash...

Step 4: Play Play Play!

My daughter used 4 finger lights from the dollar store.
So cool!

Step 5: Add a Couple People!

Get a couple people in on the action.
Here's my daughter standing still and I drew the angel wings and halo around her!

Step 6: 3 Crazy Kids!

And all 3 of my kids with different lights.
Looks like a jumbled light display...but they really got into it!

Step 7: Laser Pens!

We discovered that a laser pen is a great way to write on the picture.
One person stood with the color changing wand and the person at the tripod held the laser pen.
Get creative and have fun!
Try it tonight!
This would be great for holiday light pictures too!

Hope you liked this instructable!
Check out my blog Doodlecraft for more fun!

And don't forget to vote!  :)

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    8 years ago

    Thanks for the directions can't wait to cook up something creative


    8 years ago on Introduction

    hello. i love ur idea however when i change my canon t3i to the setting you said it just dosnt take a picture. i think because it can tell theres no light in the surrounding it refuses to take a picture i cant change my f-stop in tv mode and i set it to 30'' and the iso is 100. help !!!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    i just noticed it has to be on manual focus not auto. =p