Photography 1001 : How to Light Painting

You have gotten your first camera for quite some time now, but you have always been relying on the Auto mode. Somehow, you are reluctant to start learning about how you can play with the manual settings. Light Painting can actually be a good point for you to start! It requires experiments on various settings, and the product images are undoubtedly fun and beautiful to create.

Light Painting, also called light drawing or light graffiti, is a photographic technique in which exposures are made at a dark environment by moving a light source eg. a torch light or by moving the camera.

What You Need

1 Camera โ€“ DSLR or Compact Camera with manual settings
2 Tripod โ€“ to keep your camera steady
3.1 Torch Lights or
3.2 Glow Sticks or
3.3 LED Lights(hand held or attached to a stick) or
3.4 Fireworks
4 Coloured Cellophane โ€“ to put on Torch Lights to create colourful Light Painting
5 Dark environment

ย You can also use the newer Smartphones with fireworks mode on camera settings, but you must find a stand for it or keep your hands as steady as possible to get the best results.

How to Light Painting

1 Mount your camera to your tripod.
2 Make a test shot with aperture at f/8. Narrow aperture for dimmer background.
3 Put the shutter speed to the possible slowest. You can also increase the speed slightly to try for different effects.
4 ISO should also be set to the lowest or else the light would be too bright.
5 Set-up the timer.
6 Start dancing around with your torch lights ๐Ÿ˜€

1 Set your smartphone up with a stand.
2 Select Fireworks mode on camera settings.
3 Set-up the timer.
4 Start dancing around with your torch lights ๐Ÿ˜€

Extra Tips

Start immediately when the timer sets-off or you may end up unable to complete the whole painting. Also, if you are doing a text, remember that you have to write backwards for you are writing in “front” of the camera.

Here are some inspirations for your reference ๐Ÿ™‚

Credits: Tom Paton –
Credits: Trevor Williams -

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