81/365 Experimenting in Light Painting

If you have never tried light painting before you must! It’s just fun and it’s a challenge. I read about this in a book and thought by the way they explained it, it would be so easy to do. I could write my name, draw pictures and use different colors. As I got started I realized it takes a lot of planning to get what you want out of it.

In this first picture I used a really bright flashlight. I kept noticing that the edges of whatever shape I was attempting turned very light and only the middle of the picture was the brightest. I don’t know if I wasn’t moving slow enough or if it was just the light that did this. (Just so you know it’s best to have your camera set at the smallest aperture and experiment with the shutter speed.) I decided that it was the light and switched to a different flashlight.

This flashlight is composed of about 20 led lights that were about a medium brightness. I liked this light the best because of it’s paint brush stroke like appearance. The outer edges of the shape didn’t disappear either. So I slowly danced around for awhile to come up with a couple more abstract shots.

I call this one the dancer. The shape on the left looks to me like a dancing stick figure.

After doing some ridiculous dance moves I wanted to experiment with a strobe light. Keep in mind when your doing this to keep it extremely dark and wear dark clothing. Although when your light is too bright everything will show up anyway, which is what happens in the next picture. However, you can still get the idea of what a strobe effect can do for a photo.

My next task was to draw something. I thought my name would be simple enough, but it just looked like a bunch of squiggles. I did learn that a key part in light painting is knowing where in the viewfinder your edges are, especially when you try to create something specific. Eventually, I gave up on my name to move on to something even more simple, a smiley face!

It worked! Now that I got the basics and I am going to try some more complicated ideas. Maybe I’ll combine painting an object while putting abstracts strokes around it. I’m not really sure but I am sure I’ll have fun with it!

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11 thoughts on “81/365 Experimenting in Light Painting

  1. Awesome! I have been wanting to try something like this, but haven’t made myself get on it… maybe this is my motivation? I love the way these pictures look!

  2. I have found it fun to go downtown and experiment with light painting while in a moving car ( someone else drives of course). I really enjoyed reading this post!

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