Make your light painting photography stand out by using these simple techniques.
8. Try using a Light Diffuser. Some light sources may be too bright and give you hotspots (over exposed areas) on your photo. This can be used to diffuse bright led’s and flash lights with an intense beam.
7. Use different light sources and vary the colors. Try painting your scene using a flash tinted with color gels.
6. Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. Use the 80/20 rule. Out of 100 shots; 80 of your shots are going to be not so great (even unusable), while 20 will be usable. And you will probably choose 5 (again ~20%) out of those 20 shots that you will love. Perhaps.
5. Being in the scene is okay. Unless you are supposed to be framed or lit in the scene try not to get in the way of your own light sources. Moving around in the scene is enough to keep you from being exposed and a part of the background.
4. Remember to expose for the background too! Take a trial photo before painting light to see how the background will look. This will give you an idea of other light sources that you may have not taken into account disrupting your shot, like the moon, light posts, and car headlights.
3. Use a remote trigger so you can control the shutter from a distance. This will also help with camera shake, although it is not as much of an issue using such long exposure times.
I use this one, it’s cheap and it works awesome.
2. Layer your photographs! Check out the photo below done by Eric William Curry. He has great videos and tutorials on how he does some of his light paintings.
1. Distance of your light source will determine brightness. The further the light source, the higher the power output has to be. If you must create a lot of depth with the light sources than you can adjust the aperture to compensate for this.
Got any tips? Share them below!