Instructions For Painting With Light

Painting with light is one of my favorite photography techniques that can easily be done at home.  All you need is a flashlight, iPhone, iPad, or any other even-toned light source, a tripod, a really dark room, and a really still subject.

  1. You will want to set your camera on a tripod for a really long exposure (i.e., 8 seconds or longer);
  2. Set a large aperture (i.e., f/5.6);
  3. Set your ISO at 100;
  4. Manually focus the camera on your subject (this is important because the lights will be off when you press the shutter, so the camera will be unable to “automatically” focus);
  5. Turn off all the lights so it is so dark, you can hardly see where you or your subject are;
  6. Now push the shutter and walk over to your subject and literally shine the light where you want the light to appear so as to “paint” in the areas you want to be light.  Voila!  Easy peasy.

It’s best to move the light constantly so as not to get hot spots.  Also, if you point the light at the camera, you will get streaks.

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