ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Abstract Photography: Light Painting Guide

Updated on June 17, 2017

Fun with light

Taken on the beach in 2010
Taken on the beach in 2010 | Source

In the wide world of photography, it is always interesting when someone does something a little different. With lightpainting, you can actually use the area around you as a blank canvas, and make light a paintbrush. There are a few different types of lightpainting, but no matter the type, the setup is the same and simple.

The Setup

The setup is much more simple than the water drop or smoke photography. You only need a very dark space, a tripod, a camera with a remote or timer setting, and a camera that you can change the shutter settings on, and a flashlight.

Place you camera on the tripod, and set the timer or remote setting. Focus to the point that you will be painting.

Creating you Own Photograph

The photograph above is an example of creating your own photograph. You can paint whatever you like, or flail around like a fool and see what comes out. In either scenario, you will set your camera to the bulb setting, and create your picture. It is best to do this in a place with little light, as there is the least amount of light pollution.

Changing the Landscape

Changing the landscape is very easy. You can have a little more light than creating your own photograph, but you will need different colored gels to place on your flashlight. You can then color in pieces of the landscape to whatever colors you would like. You have to be aware that the colors do mix like regular paints, due to the photo sensitivity of the film or sensor. You can paint building pink, or trees purple.

Tips for Lightpainting

Lightpainting takes practice. It can be done with a variety of materials, but if you want to draw actual pictures, it takes work. There are no lines in real life, so you have to find a way to visualize what you have already done if you have no way to trace it. Flashes are not very useful unless you want to capture certain elements of the photographs before you paint. You will also be more successful with light painting if it is done at night, since the sun will overpower any sort of painting you can do.

Happy painting!


Submit a Comment

  • s.wilson profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago

    Thanks everyone for your comments! I will look through some of my other lightpainting and see what I have. I plan on doing some later with sparklers and maybe steel wool. I will let you know how it goes!

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Lucky for us the world has photographers that like to try something somewhat different.

    This is new to me and I like what I see. I will be follow your Hub Articles to see what other fabulous treats you come up with in the future.

  • carcamping profile image


    7 years ago

    Very interesting. Inspires me! Thanks

  • rockdresses profile image


    7 years ago from Turkey

    Thanks a lot for your brilliant post~

  • Reynold Jay profile image

    Reynold Jay 

    7 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

    I'd like to see a few more photos as I love the ONE you did post. I stumbled across this HUB by accident and then I found I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. I suspect you have writing talent and time will tell I guess. Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and awesome.” I'm now your fan! RJ

    Based upon your HUB, you might enjoy this HUB…


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)