Light Painting Photography

Light painting photography is a technique in which photographers use different light and paint techniques, such as flashlight, spotlight etc. Light and painting techniques can enhance photographs in Light Panting Photography. Many photographers use this type of technique but everyone is not the master in this. Following are some best ideas which will help you in creating perfect Light Painting Photography:

How it is used?

Light painting is a photographic method that comprises the movement of light while the cameras shutter is open. If you want to capture the moving light you have to set your camera on long exposure. It depends on that how much light you want to show. It may take 10 seconds to several minutes. Light painting is mostly done in dark to enhance the features and details of image.

  • Use dimmable light


You should use dimmable light. Because light painting photography depends on the intensity of light. You must have the ability to change the intensity according to the scene requirement. Because it’s necessary to provide equal amount of light to all the parts of scene in the light painting photography.

  • Take many shots


You must take many photographs as you can. It’s necessary because you can manage the photograph later perfectly. It may be helpful for you to treat different parts of picture separately. It will create tremendous effect on your picture. This must be taken in notice that many shots would create the most effective effect in the light painting photography.

  • Use night photography techniques


You must use night photography techniques to create best influence in light painting photography. You can use different techniques such as mirror lockup, cable release, and long exposure noise reduction. In this you may get best result in light painting photography. Play with different shutter speed to get more accurate result. Shutter speed is also perfect for photographing in night sky. Best exposure time for stars is between 10 seconds to 30 seconds, because stars move around the sky.

  • Control long exposures

It is said that light painting photography is trial and error. You must consider your first shot before adjusting exposure.

We normally start with low ISO of 100,f/8 seconds shutter speed

You can do 2 or 3 things to make it effective

  • In light painting photography, increase flashlight intensity
  • Change camera settings. Take many shots changing aperture or ISO to get more or less exposure.
  • Higher ISO/Opening of f/stop – More Exposure Lower ISO/Closing down of f/stop – Less Exposure



  • Can walking in the scene create problem?

No, walking in the scene may not create a problem, if you wear dark dress. It may also be considered that light might not be put on you directly. It may not create any problem in adjusting things and painting the details.

  • Choose lens

Selection of lens in light paint photography depends on the intend that what kind of shoot and environment you select.

  • If there is night work than Canon EOS 16-35mm f/4L and Samyang 14mm f/2.8 be used.
  • If there is interior or architectural work then a Laowa 12mm f/2.8, be used. It is best lens with 0 distortion. It’s a manual focus lens. It means it can focus in pitch black darkness.
  • If you want to capture the details of starry sky then you can use Sigma 14mm f/1.4
  • List of tools in light painting photography

For unique ideas you must have following tools in your bag

  • Head torch
  • 900 lumen strobe/floodlight
  • Flashgun
  • wire wool, including a kitchen whisk to stuff wire wool into for spinning and Para cord for spinning the whisk
  • Windproof lighter
  • LED wires
  • LED lights
  • home-made LED sticks
  • wheels with attached LEDs
  • glow sticks
  • laser pens
  • Always shoot raw files

You must shoot all your files in raw format. If you want best quality images then you must have to do this technique. It depends you how much capability you have to alter raw file into best quality image. For this you must be able to know the techniques of cropping, lifting shadows, creating details, lifting details from dark or black background. You must have the ability to alter color and temperature according to the image to enhance the effect in light paint photography. If you are shooting in photo or jpeg you cannot alter it later.

  • Select an interesting location

It’s better to choose an interesting location. If you want to create an interesting image. If you want to attract people to see your work or image then it’s necessary to do this. Because a good location makes an interesting good image. The best location according to image add more charm. In this way your audience will be engaged more interestingly.

With choosing location, strong composition and effective lighting is also necessary. By adding location and composition the image must reveal everything on the audience. It may be very easy to understand for the people. It is interesting that location-based light paint photography can interact people.

It’s most important how much ability we have to interact audience to our images by selecting interesting location. We often describe scene and enhance the readability of image by choosing best location. So it’s necessary a good location is best interacting technique to draw attention of audience to our image work.

10)             Equipment needed in light paint photography

 You need the following equipment to start your light paint photography.

  • A strong stand or hard surface: If you are using long exposures then you must need a stand or tripod to avoid any blurry effect in the image. In light paint photography a moment even it’s very small is very important.
  • A camera: A DSLR camera has the best ability to customize more efficiently
  • Wireless: It is recommended that you should have the wireless remote. It will help in setting shutter opening and closing. You have not to hold button yourself.
  • Stopwatch: It is better to have a stopwatch to count seconds. It may be helpful in managing shutter speed.
  • Color gels: It is the material which changes the color of lens which effects on the color of the image.

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