Light painting is a photographic technique in which exposures are made by moving a hand-held light source while taking a long exposure photograph, either to illuminate a subject or to shine a point of light directly at the camera, or by moving the camera itself during exposure – Wikipedia.
So far I have photographed flowers and toys (Kindly click on the link to see sample photos). I have learnt a few techniques in terms of how to capture photos of flowers and toys, as well as develop a tad bit of my own post-photo editing style. However light photography is quite different and a bit of a challenge. Although I have tried this five years ago, I can say that I was not so satisfied by my shots. Here are some of my earlier attempts on light painting.
My interest was recently rekindled. Thanks to a fellow photographer (@Edson). This time we tried doing it during the night. It is important that the surroundings are dark. I took several photos. It was a great experience. I have learnt some unconventional methods in doing it. And I would have to say that my shots, although there are definitely rooms for improvement, are relatively better than my earlier attempts. Here they are.
Nitty-gritties of light painting
I took note of the fundamental essentials of light painting photography. So here are some things I have learnt.
Note: Any DSLR camera are capable of long exposure that is needed to do light painting photography.
So, your cam must be in…
- manual mode
- open aperture to its largest setting
- set shutter speed to 30 seconds or bulb mode if available
- use remote control if not set camera timer to avoid camera shake
Aside from your DSLR camera and tripod, the following are needed.
- Fine steel wool (Other light source like cellphone, flashlight can also be used, but they would not give a similar outcome. Look at the comparison above)
- Sturdy string
- Old metallic egg whisker (used to hold the steel wool in)
- Big umbrella (this is optional)
If your light source is fire, then please do this in an open space where there are little to none vegetation. It could be dangerous especially during summer.
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