I was camping a few nights ago when my friends and I began experimenting with my camera. We set it up so it was steady and set the shutter speed to something like ten seconds. Then, we clicked the shutter button and began running around in front of the camera with a flashlight in hand. We managed to take some very interesting photos. This isn’t one of them, but this is sort of what it looked like.
Have you ever seen something like this before? It is so cool and I’d love to learn more about it.
I did a bit of searching online and have discovered that there are a few different types of light painting as it pertains to photography. Here is what I’ve learned.
Light painting is obviously done at night. It’s used to make scenes either visible in some way or to make the scene much more interesting by adding certain types of light to it. You can use different types of lights to perform this type of thing. Be it a flashlight, drop light, flood light or whatever. As long as you paint the scene and achieve your goals, I don’t think anyone is going to tell you that you did it incorrectly.
There are a few basic methods for going about light painting a scene at night for photography. First, you can go about it subtly. Use a flashlight or something slightly larger to illuminate the scene by painting circles over the objects in your scene as non-intrusively as possible. This first method is primarily used when the photographer actually wants to take a photo of something and have it illuminated as much as possible. By circling the light on the subject during a long exposure shot, you can essentially light it up so it’s visible.
The next route to take is the creative one. This is what you’d use if you wanted the viewer of your photos to know that you did long exposure photography at night and that you used different color filters or gels over a light to paint the scene. What you’re going for here is a really cool look. You don’t necessarily want things to look professional; you want them to show random highlights and darker areas in a more artistic manner.
The last most typical type of light painting is when a photographer uses the camera’s (or, a camera’s) flash to flash an object in a scene repeatedly to illuminate it. While this may seem like a strange thing to do, you can get some very nice looking results. It’s all about the long exposure. While the shutter is open on the camera, it’s recording what’s happening in the scene and all those flashes are going to be recorded in the photo.
Please let me know if you have experience with light painting at night. I’d definitely like to get into something like this more. Thanks!