A light painting adventure (and some tips!)

After some friends and I watched the fireworks on July 4th, we trekked out to an empty parking lot on the other side of campus and took some light painting photos. This is a technique I've always wanted to try out, and since I already had my tripod and some friends with me, I figured it would be a good time to go for it. Take a look at a few of the photos I got:

I wish I had more to share with you, but these are the only three that both came out well and are appropriate to post on this blog (my friends aren't the type to suppress the urge to write "butts" and curse words in the air with flashlights when given the chance).

We spent an hour or so running around in the dark and had a lot of fun. Here are a few tips that really helped us out:
  • use a strong light, like the flash of an iPhone or a powerful flashlight
  • mark out the edges of the frame (put tape on the ground, or have people stand just outside the frame)
  • move across the frame if you're spelling something, or you'll end up with illegible words
  • take a second to visualize your image or word ahead of time (it's hard to do everything in the correct direction on the spot)
  • experiment with different shutter speeds, or use bulb mode (longer shutter speeds are better for longer words or more complicated photos)

If you need help with the actual camera settings, etc, there are plenty of in-depth tutorials on the Internet! I wish I could ink you to the one I used, but I completely lost the link when I re-organized my bookmarks recently.

Have any of you tried light-painting? I would love to see your photos!


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