How to do Light painting with its best settings
Long Exposure Photography Low Light Photography
December 21, 2016

Not for nothing do people often tell me not to limit my creativity. Human imagination never had confines. One such product of that is the concept of light painting. This is a photographic technique in which you move a hand held light source as if to draw something in space while taking a long exposure shot.This is presently used in scientific as well as commercial purposes.



Imagine a beautiful night sky with millions of stars embedded on it. I set my camera on a tripod and click a nice photograph of the same. Now, think of the antithesis! Instead of making the sky my object, if I imagine it as my canvas and my camera as the paint brush! Before calling me crazy, try this once with a low shutter speed. You may even get this…


SOURCE                                      Camera is the new paint brush!

Here are a few settings that I can recommend for light painting:

  1. Get a digital camera. Any digital camera capable of having very low shutter speed will work. But make sure the camera has got a good low light performance.
  2. Do not shake the camera if you are painting with a hand held light source – You have to eliminate any slight chance of your camera shaking. Use a tripod in this case and fix some weight to it.
  3. Camera as paint brush – Obviously, now the tripod is out of question. This is a slightly more difficult option. Check out all the relevant settings in order to get a properly exposed shot.
  4. Use a sharp light source like a laser pointer or a single led flash to get sharp light trails on your imaginative canvas. Paint whatever you wish to, with your new paint brush!
  5. Shutter Speed – While there is no specific value of what the shutter speed should be, I recommend keeping it in between 10-30 seconds.
  6. The Aperture – Keep the aperture between f/8 and f/32. You will get properly exposed shots with small apertures since your shutter speed is significantly low.
  7. ISO – Keep the ISO less than 200 to avoid any noise grain.



SOURCE                                 Fire Rain! (shutter speed 30 sec)

 An Example:



  1. Set up the camera on a tripod and get it to focus on the guitar.
  2. Turn off the lights and start taking clicks till you get the perfectly exposed shot.
  3. Take the shutter speed down to 30 seconds.
  4. Paint the guitar with your led light. Make sure you don’t hover on the same place or you will burn it. It’s like ironing your shirt!
  5. Paint till the camera clicks.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 till you get the perfect shot!


Let your imagination run like a wild horse with this new found paint brush!



Long Exposure Photography Low Light Photography
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