Last night, me and a friend went out on a night-time ‘light painting’ shoot. Light painting is by far one of the most fun and interesting photography techniques that I’ve come across. It’s very simple to do, but also very effective. I imagine this would be a great way to make photography fun, a perfect opportunity to get the family involved. Here is a guide on how to do it.
How to paint with light ?
What you need :
1) A camera where the aperture, shutter speed and the ISO are all adjustable
2) A tripod
3) A torch ( I used my phone’s flashlight )
4) Coloured film to cover the light source, I used the film wrapping from Quality Street Chocolates (optional)
5) A dark place to shoot
Step One : setting up your camera
The best settings to have your camera on are :
Shutter speed : Somewhere between 11 seconds and 30 seconds
Aperture: Set between f/8 and f/32
ISO: Set to 100 or 200
It is also essential that you use a tripod, as the hand is too unsteady when taking long exposure photographs.
Set up your camera either in a very dark room or outside after dark away from street lights, any extra source of light can ruin the photograph and cause over exposure.
Step Two : Taking the Photographs
If you want to have a person in the photograph you must make sure that the flash is on, and if you wish not to then you must make sure you turn it off. Now to create the light effect you must stand in front of the camera, making sure that the light source is facing the camera and move the source around to create your desired image. The camera will pick this up and this is how the light is captured in the image. The slower you move the light, the stronger the light will be in the photograph, and the faster you move the light the more faint the light will appear. It is as simple as that.
If you want to make different colours with your light then you can use the quality street wrappers or coloured film over the torch and secure with an elastic/hair band. This changes the colour of the light, therefore when the photograph is captured the light captured is a different colour.
Step Three : Take a step back and look at the awesome photographs you have taken
That’s it. It is really that simple. Easy patterns to start with are things such as hearts, however if you feel like challenging yourself, you can try to make something more complicated, like text. You must remember when using text though to draw it backwards, or the writing will appear backwards in the photograph.
Kisses – B