Painting with light

I wanted for some time to try light painting as it adds an element of uncertainty and is very experimental. It is on most times not predictable but it's fun as I found out.

Light painting is using a hand-held light source in a dark room or outdoors at night to illuminate a subject. When you make a light painting, your camera should be on a tripod with its shutter open for a long exposure while you illuminate parts of the scene or subject with the light.

When you move the flashlight across your subject, how close you bring it, the time the light is falling on your subject will change the picture every single time. There's always experimentation involved; that's what makes it exciting in my opinion.

Do you feel adventurous as well? Here are some suggestions from my experience.

A tripod, if possible strong and sturdy some flashlights may be a penlight Penlight and something to shield the light in regard to your camera lens like a snoot or black carton for example.

I started on autofocus to get my subject sharp and then I turned it off before I began my light painting. I set my shutter speed to 30 sec at f 22 30 sec. and mirror up.

You can use the LCD to see how the light is working and how the exposure looks in live view.

I try to move the light source in a circular motion or like gentle brushing sort of motion. You can highlight specific areas, and give extra light where needed. The most important thing is to move the flashlight, don’t just point and hold it. Otherwise you won’t get transitional light on the edges.

With this kind of technique it is more obvious that what we're looking at in a photograph is the effect of light, rather than light itself.

combined image done with light painting

combined image done with light painting