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Light Painting

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Light painting, also known as light drawing is a photographic technique in which exposures are made usually at night or in a darkened room by moving a light source or by moving the camera.

In this photo-tip we will move the light source(s) in order to paint with light. The light can either be used to selectively illuminate parts of the subject or to "paint" a picture by shining it directly into the camera lens. Light painting requires a sufficientlyslowshutter speed, usually a second or more.


Light Painting


A camera with shutter speed control capabilities, tripod, mirror, light source(s)

Tools - Tripod Tools - Mirror 


  1. Place the camera on the tripod. If you don’t have a tripod, you can use any flat stable plain.
  2. Position the tripod facing the mirror so that the lens field is not blocked by the painter’s movements. Also set the timer to release the shutter after 2 seconds or more in order to give yourself enough time to be in the right place when it clicks.
  3. Set the camera on manual control “M”, make sure that the flash isn’t on and set the shutter speed to “5 seconds or more depending on the desired result.
  4. Use a low ISO or film sensitivity from 100 up to 600 depending on the desired final exposure.
  5. Make sure the room is dark and then turn the light source(s) on.
  6. When you are ready, press the button, and start moving the light(s) until you hear the shutter locks. In our case, we used our mobile flash lights and covered it with coloured paper to obtain different light colours.
  7. Try more types of light that have different colours and try taking more pictures with different settings.

Good luck painting!

Light Painting Final 


Light Painting Final 


Light Painting Final 


Share your experiments with us. Send your works to: konash@i-mag.org

Ahmad Konash -

Ahmad Konash [A’hmad Konash] is a senior student of architecture in King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), Saudi Arabia. He has a deep interest in photography and graphics design.Read More >>
Last Updated on Sunday, 27 July 2008 10:42  

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