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Light Painting

Dark scenes, long exposures and a torch! Light painting is an interesting and fun way to broaden your repertoire and experiment with.

So regardless if you already have an interest, or have never heard about it before there’s no better time to try it.  It’s a simple technique to understand and easy to get good results, it may also teach you more about light and different ways to use it in your normal photography.  Here are my tips to get you going!

1) Set up - Find a dark setting, indoors or outdoors doesn't make a difference, set you camera up in manual mode with a long exposure time, you want the picture taken from a still position so use a tripod. You will also need a light source, a flash is handy for other reasons but a LED torch or a similar hand held device is essential also.

2) The Shot - The thing to remember is that in the dark the camera will only see what you light up with your torch, so you can achieve several different effects knowing this information.  Some may like to practice writing their name in the air like a kid on bonfire night, this can lead to some fun results and a need for practice!  Others may place a object in the frame when setting up and spend time lighting the object from different angles, this can create very interesting results in some cases making the photo look like it was taken at night and in the day at the same time, or it can be good for product shots.

3) Tips - The flash can be used to burn images into the picture, for example if you put yourself in the middle of the picture and use a flash set on a timer you can freeze your image into the shot regardless of how long the shutter is open, once done you can add effects to yourself with your light source.  The picture next to this article was taken with just a camera alone using these techniques!

Photo janne parviainen "Light Topography" (no Photoshop used!)





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