Today, I am going to tell you ‘how do you do light painting in photography?’ The technique of light painting also called brush, is easy to do, inexpensive, and produces fantastic results. It consists of moving illuminated objects against a dark background and capturing these movements with the camera. When these movements are superimposed, the effect is a light drawing. Cool isn’t it?
The effect is used both by amateurs, to amuse their photos, but also by professionals. It is even used a lot in advertising. After all, there is nothing better than a light show to attract attention.
What do I need to do in Light Painting?
A dark environment is essential. If there are operators who will move the lights, they should also wear dark clothing.
Light sources. You can use led sticks, flashlights with different wattages, reflectors, laser pointers, and even torches. Lightsabers? Of course!
A tripod or similar. Holding the camera steady is important so that the photos don’t get blurred.
If you are trying light painting with a cell phone, download an app for this mode. Find a dark place, preferably with little or no movement. It can be indoors, as long as it is roomy enough to move around with the light. A great option is to do it at night, in contrast to the sky. Set up the camera and find the right angle. You need a DSLR camera for the best result.
- Manual mode.
- Exposure: 15 to 30 seconds. The time will vary according to the desired design. The light operator should move as little as possible, moving only the light source. I also advise a remote shutter release.
Even if you are careful, touching the camera to shoot can generate a small vibration.
- IS0: Try to keep it as small as possible. Start with ISO 50 or 100.
- Aperture: This will depend on the depth and elements you want to capture. Try f/11.0 or f/10.0.
Now take a picture and during your camera’s long exposure, move the light around. Here what counts is creativity. Use your imagination! You can write words in the air or form them on walls and objects. Also, try to make symbols or draw shapes. Circles, triangles, and waves look really cool!
If you have a team or friends to help you, it is possible to make several different effects simultaneously, or perhaps compose a scene, with the interaction between both light sources.
I immediately thought of an anime fight with lightning coming out everywhere!
You may also like to read: Understanding Types of Lighting in Photography and Their Uses
Tips for Light Painting in Photography
Avoid pointing the light directly at the camera and try to make continuous movements, without pause, for a more smooth form. If you want the operator to appear in the pictures, you can leave a flashlight focused on him.
Also, try the same drawing several times, changing some camera settings.
You can increase and decrease the ISO, and raise the aperture to f/16.0 or f/18.0.
You can also try to capture light objects that move naturally. For example – cars passing on the road, airplanes, and signal lights.
There are also some other creative ideas, can you imagine a field full of fireflies? Try it, the result will be amazing!