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A Simple Guide To Creative Light Painting in Your Images

Mastering light can mean many things, from the manipulation of natural light through to how to setup multiple strobes for a specific look. However, there are a few more niche techniques that are both incredibly fun and rewarding. One of these is light painting.

Light painting is something of a right of passage for new photographers and has been for some time now. It didn't take me very long from when I bought my first camera to start reading guides on how to create the effect in-camera. The principles are simple: keep the shutter open long enough for you to be able to move the light to create the effect. The truth is, it usually requires a more full understanding of settings and light to get the most out of it.

For instance, you will need to slow your shutter speed long enough to capture the movement. However, long exposure times equal more light on the sensor, and so over-exposing your image becomes all too easy. In this guide by Pye Jirsa, he walks you through the basics of setting up a light painting shot and achieving some great results. To this day, my highest selling images involve light painting to one degree or another, so I would recommend learning the skill even if you can't foresee where you will use it.

Do you use light painting in your work? Share with us your best tips for beginners looking to try out the technique.

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