Light painting is a photography technique that has taken traditional photography to the next level. Photographers will use a long-exposure mode in light painting to create the desired effect; typically, shutter speed is around 1/60 of a second to 1/4000 of a second to cover the most common photography techniques. These speeds work with settings like bright sunlight, midday overcasts, and most indoor situations. When we think of long exposure, we are talking in terms of seconds rather than fractions of seconds. A long exposure (exposure time and shutter speed being synonymous) can help blur the movement of things like stars in the night sky and running water. Long exposure is necessary when light painting
Light Painting Techniques
In essence, we use a moving light source to create a desired effect that can highlight an under-illuminated or over-illuminated subject while taking the long-exposure photograph. The photographer doubles as an artist, as it is their job to create the image or effect that the camera is capturing. It can take multiple takes and years of experience to truly create images that fulfill a client’s creative desires. Light painting is just like long-exposure, low-light photography; the defining factor here is that a moving outside light source is used to enhance the final image.
Light Painting Photography Tools
There are quite a few tools that any professional photographer uses to light paint. Here is a list of some of the equipment we use to light paint:
- Camera: A camera that is capable of multiple manual settings (such as bulb, which determines shutter speed based on the amount of ambient light in the shot).
- Tripod: A reliable tripod is necessary for light painting, as the shutter speed can vary from seconds to minutes. It is incredibly important that the camera does not move during the exposure.
- Stop Watch: A stop watch is useful to time your exposures.
- Light Source: Many photographers, such as A Shot in the Dark, create their own custom light tools for use in light painting. A light source can be a flashlight, glow sticks, candles, cell phones, strobes, torch lights, and lasers; basically, any source of light that can be moved during the long exposure.
- Color Gels: Tinting a spotlight with a color gel can tint the color of the light that paints an object.
Light Painting Camera Settings
- Camera Mode: The manual mode of the camera will allow you to set your aperture (the aperture regulates the amount of light that reaches the image sensor) and shutter speed, which
is the amount of time the shutter is open.
- ISO: ISO simply measures the light sensitivity of the image sensor. ISO stands for the International Organization of Standardization, which is the governing body that sets sensitivity ratings for camera sensors and other photographic standards. In light painting, most photographers will set the ISO to 100, which is considered a very low light sensitivity. This helps capture the light movement.
- Image Stabilization: Set your image stabilization to off. Since you’ll be using a tripod, image stabilization can fool your camera and cause a blurred image.
- Aperture: Set your aperture to f/10 or f/8, while enables a longer shutter speed and a greater field of depth.
- LCD: Lower your LCD brightness on the picture preview. An LCD can be too bright at night, which can make your under-exposed image look bright.
Photographers in Boca Raton
If you live in the West Palm area near Boca Raton, Boynton, and Delray Beach and have been looking for professional photography services, look no further! We specialize in light painting, corporate events, weddings, parties, portraits, and more! Check out our services page and gallery to learn more! Call us at (561) 303-4283 to bring your pictures to life.