how to do light painting

Learn About Your DSLR With Light Painting

If you've been hesitating to set your dslr in manual mode and depend only on auto mode of the camera, light painting is an awesome way to learn how to utilize your manual settings in the dslr while having fun.

The camera's owner manual shows all the settings of your dslr, explaining the working of each. Because light painting needs experimenting with some of the settings, it is a stressless way of having fun by taking long exposure photos, and they can really turn out artistic as well

Step 1: An Entry Level DSLR Camera

A DSLR camera is needed, but a camera which uses film can also be used.The only quality that your camera needs is manual setting. You will also need to check in your camera's owners manual to see if these ranges for  aperture,shutter speed, and ISO are offered:

Shutter Speed- between 11 - 30 seconds for a long exposure shot
Aperture - between f/8 and f/32
ISO - 100 

In a  digital camera, you can see the pictures immediately to adjust settings, and the camera also offers RAW image formats which are easy to edit.

Step 2: A Tripod Is a MUST

 Is it so important to use a tripod?  When you utilize a tripod you can eliminate the camera shake which helps you take a sharp picture. Tripod is necessary when taking long exposure photographs such as light painting.

The camera needs to focus on the light source and it needs to be kept from moving.  Using a tripod will be of benifit for those difficult angles and the innovative style of light painting you want to achieve.

However is you cant afford a tripod you can place the camera on stable objects which eliminates camera shake.Eg:table,books..

Step 3: Light Source

You can be innovative when choosing a light source for light painting. Pen lights, cell phones, colored glow sticks,Flashlights, laser pointers, fireworks, sparklers and LED's are very often used.

Anything that illuminate can be used to move in different patterns to be captured in the photograph.

You can innovatively use cellophane to wrap around the light source for different colours. You are limited by your own imagination.

Step 4: Camera setup

Place the camera on the tripod pod and angle the camera.Put the object in the focal point of the camera.The following are the settings often used for light painting:

Shutter speed :30 seconds
Aperture :f22
Iso :100

This setting works for me almost every time.However the settings can change sometimes. Once the setting is done take the light source and move it around the object in patterns.It is also important that all the lights are turned off and the room is dark as the camera captures the source of light which is the focal point.