Abstract Photography: Light Painting Guide
Fun with light
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 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.