Painting with Light

Painting with light is a photography technique that allows you to be creative and paint all over the town, without actually doing anything illegal like graffiti. It’s easy to do as an amateur photographer. All you really need is a camera, a tripod, a light source, a dark area, and an idea.

urban-light-painting (1)

Once you have an idea of what you want to put in your photo, it is crucial to adjust your camera settings. It’s important to have a really slow shutter speed or it won’t even come out. Once it is lowered to at least 10 seconds (or longer), go out onto your scene and start painting. The long exposure of the camera will capture your movement with the light and create an image.


There really is no limit as to what you can paint in your photograph. Most people just do circles or they spell out words. It does not matter what kind of light you use, but some people recommend to use a flashlight with a variety of light settings so you are able to adjust the light however you want. Sparklers, glow sticks, LED lights, and any other light source that is easy to maneuver can be used as well.


The tripod is necessary because it can help keep any extra motion from being captured. If you are going to paint with the lights yourself then it will be much easier with the tripod. If someone else is painting for you, then you may not need it but keep in mind that if you move at all the camera will pick it up and it can effect your photo. Painting with light is very creative and can make any photo interesting, you just gotta try it out!




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