Did you know that you do not have to be an expert photographer to use light painting photography? If you know how to set your camera manually, and you have a light source to use, you are on your way. Expensive equipment is not necessary, and if you are a beginning photographer, light painting is a great way to experiment and practice with long exposure photography.So how to do light painting photography???????
Easy Light Painting photography Procedure
- In a dark room or outside at night, set the camera on a tripod or steady surface.
- Determine a point of focus for your light source activity, and lock your camera’s focus to this focal point.
- Set the manual timer, or use a shutter release cable to take the picture when you are in place with the light source.
- Stand in the camera’s focal point, moving the light source, and take the picture.
The light painting process is easy, but you need to know the basics of exposure time, aperture, and ISO. Because light painting photographs are shot in the dark, manual settings for your camera are necessary, and this is where your camera’s owner’s manual comes in very handy if you are a beginning photographer.
Exposure, Aperture, And ISO
For light painting, there are three things to remember: long exposure, small aperture, and low ISO. After you locate how to set these variables on your camera from your manual, you can then adjust these settings after each picture taken as necessary, to get the best quality of light painting photograph.
Recommended Manual Settings For Light Photography
- Shutter speed should be set from 11-30 seconds (long exposure), depending on light source.
- Aperture should be small, and from f/11 to f/32.
- ISO 200 or lower should be used, because the shutter speed is increased.
Be familiar with your camera’s owner’s manual. Before beginning a light painting photograph, check to make sure that your camera is capable of longer exposures and slower shutter speeds. You will also need to learn how to set your camera’s functions manually, so that you can quickly adjust these settings for varied light sources or environments.
While special equipment is not necessary, a tripod is very beneficial to have, because it will keep the picture from blurring. A shutter release cable is also very helpful to have for this reason. A shutter release cable is also convenient, because some cameras have very few seconds on the manual timers. It gives you little time to run back to the focal point and introduce the light source, before the picture is taken.
Marking your focal point (where you will be standing with the light source) is helpful if you have the camera on a manual timer, because you have little time to get to that spot. Wearing black will also keep your presence from being seen in the picture.
Any type of light source can be used to take light painting photographs. Some of the more common light sources used are:
- Maglite Torches
- Glow Sticks
- Cell Phones
- Digital Light Wands
- Poi Balls
If you are planning on using a fire light source, make sure to take safety precautions for yourself, others involved, and the environment used.
Practice For Optimal Light Painting Results
Anyone can create a light painting photograph, but if you want to improve your photos, you need to practice. Light painting gives you great experience with long exposure photos, and adjusting manual settings. These skills can be used to improve night photography in general. Light painting is fun to experiment with, and creates unique, artistic, and beautifully illuminated photographs that you can share and view forever.
Josh Johanness, Queensland Australia.
I enjoy photography in particular learning different aspects of photography tricks. I learnt early on that the one of the most important aspects of photography is to learn the basics. By learning the basics and practicing you can take your photography to a new level.
Founder of PhotographyMysteries.com