An Introduction to Light Painting

LP2.9.11-9-copy

Camera: Canon EOS 40D
Lens: Canon 17-50mm
Focal Length: 17mm
Exposure: 67s
Aperture: f/4
ISO: 100

Today’s feature is from Michael Newcomer.

Michael says:

“Throughout my life, I have taken courses on painting, drawing, stained glass and jewelry making and have always been a visually creative person. It wasn’t until I picked up a digital camera that I found a medium where I was able to create the ideas I had in my head.

I have been studying light painting since 2010. I first discovered it when some friends presented images for a local meetup contest. I was amazed and instantly hooked! I’ve been exploring this craft ever since.”

Michael’s Photography Tip:

Photographers have been playing with this technique for quite a while (as early as the 1930’s even), and Man Ray holds the title for the first light painted image in 1935. Even Picasso did some light painting.

For those of you not familiar with light painting, it is the art of creating a hand-lit image in a single long exposure. It’s actually quite easy, and a lot of fun!

All you need to light paint is a tripod and a camera that can do a long exposure of at least 30 seconds (though most of image creations take several minutes to create). The camera specs and settings for a lot of the images in this post are also listed below the image if you’re curious to how I set up my gear.

Just open the exposure and wave some lights around in front of the camera and BOOM – you are light painting!

If you’re curious to see a little bit more about the world of light painting, check out either the Light Painting World Alliance (where the world’s best painters showcase their work), or 200 Orbs – a project that took place in the summer of 2014 where some light painting junkies got together in a field in VA to attempt a new world record of creating 200 orbs of light in a single long exposure image.

CandiLP-14-Edit
FayettevilleLP-14-Edit
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Camera: Canon EOS 50D
Lens: Canon 17-50mm
Focal Length: 37mm
Exposure: 27s
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 250
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Camera: Canon EOS 50D
Lens: Canon 17-50mm
Focal Length: 23mm
Exposure: 39s
Aperture: f/7.1
ISO: 100
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SusanAug-15-Edit-2-copy

Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon 17-50mm
Focal Length: 21mm
Exposure: 80s
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 200

Michael Newcomer is a Charlotte, NC Fine Art and Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Lighting.

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