Light painting photography – photography tricks for light painting

Light painting photography – photography tricks for light painting

by Myrah Fernandes

Img Credits: CVHB photography

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Tips and tricks on how you can paint with light. The sort of equipment you need for light painting photography and the camera settings you should use. Light painting photography tricks that can help you master the art of this trick photography.

Trick photography is a great way to develop your photography skills and have an edge over all the other photographers in the business. Even if you’re not a professional, trick photography can be a lot of fun. One of the best tricks in the books is light painting photography. It simply means taking the best shots at night with a little bit of help from external light sources, equipment like flash etc. Light painting photography involves using anything from your phone or tablet to any light source including a sparkler. Light painting photography can be defined as a photography technique where in long exposure you capture the motion of light throughout the exposure duration. In our case this is done through the Light painting with phone

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Trick photography basically works on the simple principle that when there is less amount of light in the surrounding area, your camera tends to take more time to capture an image. When shooting in dark, the camera’s shutter speed is longer to capture a shot. Light painting photography is a trick photography which works on this principle. You need to keep in mind two things when doing this type of photography, long shutter speed, and a timer to trigger the shutter. There are two ways of this trick photography, the first is to simply use the source of light, your phone or sparkle and move it to create abstract images in the air and the second one is to give your image a blur effect by moving the camera and not the light source.

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What camera settings you should use

The camera settings that you should use for light painting photography aren’t very complicated. Use camera’s focus button since at night focusing is an issue for the camera. Always use manual or bulb mode for exposure setting. Preset your white balance setting. If you don’t do so, your camera will correct itself and the external light source will hold no meaning. For ISO settings use the lowest ISO possible. This is the only way to minimize the noise in the scene. Lastly, use a RAW file format. The Best camera for light painting is  Canon 5d Mark II and all the canon EOS series cameras

Equipment for light painting

The kind of Equipment you need is the most important thing. First is a camera with a good variety of settings like the shutter speed. Second, a sturdy tripod is essential to help reduce the motion blur. A light source like anything at all from phones, tablets to LED lights. Since in light painting photography time is long, keeping an extra pair of battery is always a good idea. Some great light painting tools are, Surefire E1L or Olight M 10 Maverick as a light source. It works well in indoor and outdoor photography. But for a more outdoor focused photography, you can use the SureFire E1L Outdoorsman Dual-Output LED. It is great. The single battery model is much more affordable, so you should avoid spending too much on the two battery one. Another good tool is a light diffuser or adapter. The PVC adapters are great, but this is for more professional use and you can do without it too.

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Get creative with ideas

Since light painting is done during the night, you can think of many creative ways to paint the town with your light as the world sleeps. We can suggest you some ideas, but the best photographs will be when you are thinking of new fun ways to come up with light painting ideas. You can also use people as subjects and shoot around them or you can make use of furniture and create a different scene with light painting. For outdoor shoot, you can use old surroundings like a barn, old trucks or an abandoned farm. Have fun while you are shooting and you’re sure to come up with a few great unique light painting ideas.

Light painting photography is very exciting if keep in mind the fun element associated with trick photography. It requires practice and patience but in the end the result is well worth the practice. Always remember the more fun you have while doing light painting photography chances are that much more unique and creative your photos be. Creativity and ideas flow when one is more in touch with their surroundings and subjects so involve them and have fun.

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About Christian Tudor

professional photographer, main editor at Academy of Photography and owner and principal photographer of Tudor Photography