Light Painting

This past weekend, I tried out light painting.  I’ve already done a bit of experimenting with camera painting- shooting either lights or sparks from a fire at long exposures and moving the camera to create swirls of light.  It’s a great way to make abstract pictures without a lot of equipment.  But I wanted to try something different.  I started off with a red light on a string.  Spinning it in front of the camera and walking backwards gave me this image:

I was slightly off center, so I tried again, but this time once I got 30′ or so away from the camera, my friend turned on his flashlight and lit me up from behind:

It didn’t turn out quite how we had planned, but still kinda fun none-the-less.

Next I grabbed a small white flashlight and, just to see how it would look, swirled it around randomly:

Kinda bland.  So I decided to draw instead (it took me a while to get these right- since I was pointing my light at the camera, I had to draw the reverse of the image I wanted, which means the first time I tried to write my name, it turned out backwards).  Here’s my name (I’m not very good at backwards cursive):

And a music note:

…a compact, pudgy little note!

Then I got bored and decided to dance.  You can use the flash on your camera to capture a still image of yourself, but I wanted a more fluid image, so I just shined the light over myself for a few seconds and then danced, swirling the light around.  I like the way these came out:


Light painting isn’t really all that difficult.  It takes a bit of experimentation, but is a lot of fun to do.  I was shooting most of these myself, so I just manually set my focus to infinity, but if you want some still images, it would probably be easier to use a partner who can set the focus before you start.

Next time I want to try using different color lights and drawing more, but for a first time, this was pretty fun!

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2 Responses to Light Painting

  1. Michelle says:

    I’ve always had fun with light painting too! One of the upcoming free creativelive classes is about light painting :)

  2. Pingback: To Watermark or Not to Watermark… | Life Through the Lens

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