Long exposure photography techniques. Light painting.

“In the late evening, when you sit at home and don’t know what to do, experiment with a long shutter speed. ” In my opinion, one of the ancient sages said exactly that, but if I am mistaken, it will be an interesting lesson to play with creating such masterpieces here.

Light painting with Nokia 7610 phone

Light painting with Nokia 7610 phone

What it is? No, it's not a Photoshop correction, but just games of light.

How it is done? Very simple, a camera with the ability to mount it on a tripod, the tripod itself and a flashlight is enough.

Does a modern digital compact do not have a tripod jack? Very strange! And if there is no tripod, it is enough to put the camera on a chair, table, pillow, iron and unbendable hand of a friend. Oh yes, there is no flashlight ... or there is, but the batteries are dead - it doesn’t matter either, because there is a mobile phone, a PDA, a player, any toy with a display.

Svetopis using the PDA display

Svetopis using the PDA display

Do not believe that everything is so simple? Then I’ll reveal the secret, photos of the flash, photos of the vase and wire ball were made using the backlight of the PDA display, and part of the display and keyboard of my beloved Nokia Fedorovna a.k.a. a smartphone.

How all the same, such lights and shadows - but everything is elementary, so when every time I throw a stone into the water, I get exactly in the center of the circle, and here we draw with light what is needed.

Svetopis using the PDA display

Svetopis using the PDA display

For cooking "Light Painting" you need to upgrade the flashlight, or take the soft light displays of modern devices. On a flashlight, you need to wear a cardboard tube (tube) so that it does not scatter light, but shines purposefully.

In a black, dark room, mount your camera on a tripod. Switch it to timer mode. Timer mode? - it's just when you press the shutter button, the camera gives you the opportunity to run away from it to a safe distance, and then takes a picture, it is often useful when you are relaxing on the Far Islands with a girl, and to the nearest village a thousand nautical miles and ask you to photograph nobody because you put the camera on a tripod, press the shutter button and run to your beloved. When they arrived, the camera takes a picture, however, friends will think that you were not alone there, but this is subtlety.

If you are an avid photographer, you can use remote control (cable, slipper, power of thought or assistant). I use the remote control Nikon ML-L3.

Further ... on a chair or any convenient place (for example, I put it on my reflector) put something interesting, for example, a TV ... oh ... no ... a flower pot, a cup.

Turn on the upgraded flashlight, press the shutter button on the camera, turn off the light in the room and break your head and giving the cat a tail, take it draw a flashlight on your subject.

For everything to work out, you need to think about how long it will take to outline the contours of objects. Usually it is 5-30 seconds excerpts, aperture from F5.6 to F11. ISO to taste from 100 to 400.

By the way, I can't say for sure about the different beautiful backlights and the games of colors and shadows, since everything depends on the creative idea, it's like a mystery - what color is the chameleon when it looks in the mirror? So here, it is difficult to guess the result and you need to experiment, sometimes it will take hours.

Light painting with a flashlight

Light painting with a flashlight

Light painting with a flashlight

Light painting with a flashlight

It is best to take a flashlight halogen or diode, I made a nozzle tube from a regular newspaper, securing it with adhesive tape.

You can criticize, they say, this is blasphemy, but in art to criticize means to explain to the author what he is doing differently from what a critic would do if he could.

Do not forget about +1, tweet, like. Thanks for attention. Arkady Shapoval.


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Comments: 39, on the topic: Long-exposure photography techniques. Light painting.

  • Serg

    Cool! It seems that the photos are better!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Quality is a pretty big concept, but because of the ISO100 and aperture of 11-22, you get a lot of sharpness.

  • Denis

    Thank you for the article. Just in the evenings I toss around in the apartment in search of an interesting activity)

  • Dmitriy

    Thank you!
    Went to try !!!

  • Kirill

    about! I thought how to use the camera on weekdays, when work-home. Tomorrow I will start the experts))

  • Anastasia

    Arkady, maybe I lost sight of it when I read it, but I think it's worth talking about the "drawings" with light at long exposure?
    Thank you for your work. It is interesting to read more precisely about the basics of the photo.

  • Dimitry

    Arkady, many thanks for an interesting and informative article. I would like to ask: is it advisable to use a neutral-gray filter for shooting photographs at long shutter speeds? if so, what density?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      For super slow shutter speeds, you can use a neutral filter. Density depends on the effect that you want to get.

  • SpitFire

    Arkady! Thank you very much for the articles! I'm still waiting - can't wait for an article about photography in the studio! Please help to organize a small photo studio at home! how and what to do? which light to use? what kind of fixtures? how much? which modes in the camera and which lenses are preferable? But I especially ask you to pay attention to the light and everything that will be connected with it! I think it will be interesting to not a small number of users sitting on this site!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Okay, I’ll try to force myself to write about it.

  • Artem

    Yes, there are a lot of possibilities of light painting. We turn imagination forward. Arcadia, great article. Thank you.

  • Julia

    Maybe now, of course, I’ll say some kind of nonsense, but how to focus on the subject in the dark? .. or first you need to visit when the light is on?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      To do this, turn on the backlight on the camera.

      • Julia

        it's not always just that I get the focus where it should be when the AF is illuminated, but oh well ... sorry for the offtopic, I read your articles - it's very interesting and explain everything in an accessible way ... but I admire your responses to comments more - it takes so much patience, sometimes such heresy they ask what you think: “well, why do you need a camera at all - live in peace”…. "What settings should the camera have for PROFESSIONAL shooting?" (c) - such questions brighten up the gray days)

        • Igor

          sincerely admired by the power of thought. but what to do, not everyone managed to dive into the 21st century. Including me. Two months mastering d200. Thank God and the site, as well as the experience of the 122nd zenith.

          • Merry

            Now we know who the sebnlsie one is here. great post!

            • Arkady Shapoval

              Desu, desu, desu.

        • anonym

          I modestly answer: what gear do you prefer to drive?

  • Olga

    Very interesting, a good idea, you can also try to “paint” with a laser beam, perhaps there will also be an interesting effect.

    • Novel

      I tried, the effect is interesting :)

    • Ivan

      Be careful with the laser. There is a danger of burning the matrix if laser light gets on it from an accidental, for example, reflection in a room mirror .. Coherent radiation is detrimental to the matrix!

      • anonym

        AHTUNG !!! The retina of your eyes is also not useful, not once! You can buy another fotik for big money, but your eyes are not for sale yet.

  • Dollyfill

    Thank you for your work, everything is very cool !!!

  • Andrei

    Very informative and interesting, today I’ll try! Thank you for the article!

  • Oleg

    I am a beginner amateur photographer, I looked at a lot of things on the Internet, but I could not find a better understanding of your site. Thank you for the information posted. Everything is available. I hope to learn, try, and become a professional.)))))

  • Natalia

    Arkady! Thank you very much for your work, it helps a lot to understand the basics, tk. on courses (just started) they also give useful information, but given the time constraints, it is not always enough. I "swallow" article after article! very clear, interesting, and informative !!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  • Alexander

    Here are my sample lights!

    • Star boring. Igor


    • Lynx


  • Peanut

    Tell me, is it possible, by setting the Bulb shutter speed, to somehow program the shutter speed?
    Do not stand for 3 minutes with the finger pressed on the button))

    • Arkady Shapoval

      You can control the camera using a computer. And some cameras have a bulb with a two-step pressure - the first time they pressed open the shutter, the second time they pressed - closed the shutter.

    • Lynx

      external wired / wireless remote control with timer. or battery pack, there are also

    • Jury

      I had a Chinese wired remote control for the D3200, it had a button with a lock - I pressed the button, moved the lock and it was pressed as much as necessary. Its price was less than $ 2

      • Peanut

        Thank you.

  • Uncle Jenya

    If you try to add warm candlelight to the lantern, you can get a good combination of cold and warm.

    • Alexander

      Really interesting to use a pair of sources of different temperatures!

  • anonym

    Thank you very much)

  • Alexander

    I would like to add that if the camera is endowed with magic called Live Composite, then all this (painting with light) can be done even in the afternoon.
    For example, if you need to make some kind of subject shooting, but there is no subject box at hand or at least a few diffuse light sources to avoid sharp shadows.

    • Alexander

      conveniently. That would be on fullframe.

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English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2011/04/svetopis-kpk-foto/

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