Painting With Light: A Guide on How to Do It Yourself

Ever see those incredible photos with lights from sparklers or glow sticks that seem to hang suspended in the air around a person? 

Usually the light in the photograph spells something or is in a shape, like a heart. It's actually done by slowing down your shutter speed, so that when you take a light source and move it around you can write words with it, shapes or pictures which makes a beautiful still image.

The key is you don't need to be super technical to reproduce the effect yourself. We've put together a few videos to give you a concise guide in painting with light also.

Here's the equipment needed:

  • DSLR
  • Sparklers
  • Tripod

Let's get started.

Video One: Photography Tutorial: How to Paint With Light

Photographer Lisa Mac goes step by step on how to create your own paintings of light. 

Video Two: Boston University: Painting With Light

The Boston University Photography Club shows you how to use LED lights and flaming objects to create unique glowing photos that even include battles with light sabers!

Video Three: Darkness Is My Canvas, Light is My Brush

If you'd like to see just how far you can take this technique, then give the below video a watch. It details how a man fills the dark winter months in Finland with light as a light painter. No Photoshop is used to create the effects, but just a great deal of skill in long exposure photographs and sources of light.

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