light painting tutorial

Light painting tutorial

a short article to show how easy is to create an image by painting with light

In this light painting tutorial , you are assumed that have reasonable knowledge of night photography and you have the basic understanding of long exposure at night time. The idea is to set your camera on a tripod in manual mode for a long exposure, and after that use a mobile source of light on a subject, or create artistic and interesting lighting effects rotating a light source , flash light for a example.

The results can be very different, depending on the aperture, shutter speed and ISO you want to use. We have conducted an experiment and this is what we have shot, during a trial and error exercise.

Obviously we have mounted the camera on a tripod, used a remote trigger in order to avoid any camera shake, and exposed gradually for 10, 20, 30 seconds. If the image was to dark, we have increased the aperture size and if the image was overexposed, we have made the aperture smaller.

light painting tutorial

painting with light 2
30 seconds, F11, ISO 200
painting with light 3
30 Seconds, F8, ISO 250

If you can see above, using a flash off the camera, from an angle, you can see the photographer as well lit.

 

painting with light
30 sec, F9.5, ISO 640

Again, using an off camera flash, you can see only the silhouette of the photographer rotating the flash light with a piece of string

painting with light
30 seconds, F9.5, ISO 640

For the image above we have used the same camera settings as before and changing the position of the off camer flash.

painting with light
30 seconds, F9.5, ISO 640

in image above, we have triggered the flash twice during the 30 seconds exposure

painting with light
30 seconds, F9.5, ISO 640

We have changed the light source and we have used a christmas tree light. SInce the image was overexposed to the a greater light source we had to change the settings

painting with light
8 seconds, F9.5, ISO 320
painting with light
20 Seconds, F19, ISO 320

for the image above we have modified the settings again for a change of light painting effect

painting with light
10 seconds, F16, ISO 320

In order to be able to create interesting effects you can try to do some painting with light, based on the same principles and change the camera settings until you are happy with the results.You can note again the use of the flash. It is not necessary to use it, but we thought we made it a bit different than other people where you cannot see who is holding the light.

 

We hope you have enjoyed our light painting tutorial  and feel free to leave comments, send us any similar articles and we’ll be happy to publish it here on Academy of photography website

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About Christian Tudor

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