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!