5 tips for Light Painting Photography

Light Painting Photography is the Art form of using handheld lights to paint and draw in a scene while the shutter of a camera is left open. By shooting in a dark location (or nearly dark location) and using long exposure photography with flashes, colors, textures, and trails of light created by light painting tools and modifiers can be captured in your photograph without the use of any post processing.

Photo by Nithya Rajapandian

Time of the day

This is the important of all that we need to do choose our light wisely. To carry out long exposure we should need very less light. Remember – very less light and not ‘no light’. Therefore the best time to shoot light painting photography is in the twilight/blue hour. In this time we have enough ambient natural light which will add beauty to your photograph.

A Powerful torch light

The torch that you use to paint should be highly powerful so that the patterns you draw with it become distinct and defined when it passes through the tube. Also flashlights with strobe mode will push your creativity to next level in light painting photography. There are flashlights which emits light of 2000~3000 lumens which is considered desirable for light painting.

Practice the patterns

If you are planning to do light painting outdoors, we would strongly suggest you to practise the patterns before in hand so that we utilize the limited time window that we have got to shoot – ‘twilight’. It certainly implies that we don’t have time to waste during the day of shoot. Ask the model to practise her poses prior to the shoot itself.

Use Remote release shutter / intervalometer / built-in camera timer

Using remote release shutter or intervalometer can give you precise, distinct output of patterns in the photograph. Also this will reduce the shake as well the manpower (one to release shutter and do the light patterns & a model to pose – voila, is all that you need) to get the shots.

Be Creative:

Last, but not the least, Light painting photography on itself a creative form of photography – so feel free to let loose your imagination horses. Get interesting patterns with tubes. Get interesting with some subjects like – models/vehicles or for that matter any product that you are shooting. Conceptualizing can come in handy. Use original and new ideas.

Happy shooting!

Photo by Nithya Rajapandian

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