Light Painting Photography
So, I just found some light painting photography on Flickr, and decided to write a little article about the subject. I’ve also culled through Flickr for my favorite ten examples of this form of photography for your enjoyment.
I’ve not really experimented with this type of photography myself, so I had to research some good tips and techniques to impart here. It turns out that there are quite a few resources available on the subject online, both highly technical and not so technical. So, if the few tidbits I chose to list in this post aren’t enough, surely you can find what you need with a Google search.
Light painting photography typically requires a darkened environment as well as a fairly long shutter speed. Typically there is hand-held light source being moved about, either in our outside of the frame.
The light source can be moved around strategically in order to illuminate a subject, or it can be the subject itself. For example, a person can stand in front of the camera and point the light directly at the lens, or the flashlight can be held outside of the frame, and the light can be moved around on the wall. The end result will appear different, but they are both light painting photography.
The camera itself can be moved about when pointed at a light source, which is a form of photography actually called camera painting. While this can seem counter-intuitive, since we are taught to keep the camera as still as possible when shooting, it can have the same artistic effect as light painting.
Common light sources that are used in light painting photography are flashlights, laser pens, candles, lighters, glowsticks, and sparklers.
Typically, a shutter speed of at least 30 seconds is required.
Here are my favorite ten light painting photos from Flickr: