Light painting is photographic technique which is used to light up an object or point directly at the camera with a handheld light source, and draw/paint whatever you desire. This is done by using a long exposure on the camera you use.
Step 1: Materials
- Tripod (if none, improvise! if nothing to improvise with, stay steady!)
- Dark room or any dark area
- Light source(s) (flashlight, phone etc.)
If you'd like to only be behind the camera, you can have assistants to help out and paint for you, I had my brother, mom and grandma!
Step 2: Figuring Out Your Camera
If you are having trouble figuring out the settings, here is a diagram example of the camera I used, the Cannon EOS Rebel XSi DSLR. A DSLR is preferred in this photography but any camera is good to use as long as you know what you are working with.
I used these settings and you should too:
- a shutter speed between 11 to 30 seconds, if longer time is needed, use BULB mode (take as long as you want in BULB mode)
-an aperture between f/8 and f/32
-an ISO of 100 or 200
Make sure your exposure is in the middle (at 0)
Step 3: Process
Once you are ready, click the shutter button and paint with light! You can even put a coloured tissue on your light source to create different colours.
Step 4: Results
Depending on what you are going for, results may vary.