Spotlight [BRIGHT IDEAS]

[LIGHTPAINTING BASICS] brought to you by MRI Lightpainting, creators of the original Light Painting Photo Booth!

First, you’ll need a tripod and a camera that can be set for long exposures.  Most digital cameras are capable of this via the Manual settings.
Set your exposure time (length of time that the shutter is open) to around 10 seconds. This means your camera sensor will be capturing light for exactly 10 seconds.
Set your F-Stop (lens aperture opening size) to around F11.  This means that the opening through which light passes is small (versus F2-which is large).  A small opening ensures that you will maximize depth of field and have more time to expose your image.
Set your ISO (light sensitivity and “graininess”) to around 200, which is less sensitive and yields finer detail than an ISO of 1600.
Once you’ve balanced Exposure, F-Stop, and ISO to current conditions, begin an exposure (remote trigger is best) with your camera on a tripod.
Now, grab an LED light (the Turbo, Search, or Rescue are all great ones to start off with) and just wave it around in front of the camera.  You should get an image sort of like this.
Now, keep doing that until you get the hang of drawing with light. Then, try a shape! Hearts are always a good place to start. Feel the love? (this was shot with a Shifter set on a wide “flood” setting.
Know what else is sweet? Getting a person in the frame with the lightpainting.
  • For this you’ll need a flash that you can fire manually.
  • Have the person stand still in the frame.
  • While they’re standing, have a friend grab a light and “draw” shapes around them.
  • Start an exposure.
  • Then (while the shutter is still open) have the friend jump out of the frame.
  • Once they are out of the frame, pop a flash on your subject before the shutter closes.
  • You might need more than 10 seconds for this one.
  • Boom! Lightpainting surrounds your friend (This was done with a few different LED lights. Namely the Spotlight Shifter with colored gels.)
So there’s the basics. Once you get out and try these things, the ideas will just start flowing. Don’t have a fancy shmancy camera? Got an iPhone? Get the LightBomber App, the photo app specifically designed for lightpainting.
Wanna show off?  Post your LightPainting work on Instagram using the tag #SpotlightPainting and be sure to follow/mention @_SpotlightGear and @LightBomberApp!
Please check back with us at SPOTLIGHTGear where we will continue to bring you more
Bright Ideas!