I was first introduced to light painting about 10 years ago by my colleague and fellow author Levi Sim and I instantly became hooked! We were at an event for the local photographers club that he ran and it was getting dark. All of a sudden he just shouted out “let’s light paint.” He then proceeded to yell out these settings to put into our cameras.
Now to give you an idea of how naive I was about the whole photography world, let alone light painting at the time, I had to borrow his tripod and have him change all my settings. But that’s beside the point — the point is I instantly fell in love with light painting! My mind was blown and I couldn’t figure out any part of it except for the part about me loving it. I immediately went home bought a tripod and started my journey with all things light painting.
What is light painting?
So you can only imagine my utter excitement when Light Painting Brushes sent me some of their tools. Now if you don’t know what light painting is Light Painting Brushes describes it like this:
“Light Painting Photography is the Art Form of using handheld lights to paint and/or draw in a scene while the shutter of a camera is left open during a long exposure photograph. By shooting in a dark location and using photographic technique of long exposure photography (let’s say a 30-second exposure) the flashes, streaks, colors, textures, and trails of light created by our light painting tools and modifiers can be captured in your photograph without the use of any post-production. Exposure times for light paintings can range from just a few seconds up to an hour or more.”
However, I like to describe it to people by saying you are leaving your shutter open for however long you want to dance around in the dark waving a Jedi light sword feeling like champ … but either description really works.
What is Light Painting Brushes?
Light Painting Brushes is a company that hand makes tools for photographers to use when light painting. They have made incredible kits and tools to create a different type of looks and effects in your images. They also have created a universal connector — a durable rubber fitting that allows light painting photographers to universally connect a variety of different light sources. It allows for relatively round light sources to be connected, and has a diameter of .975″ to 1.5″.
The Universal Connector makes changing out your flashlights or tools quickly and easily allowing you to swap out different connectors during a single exposure. It is one of my favorite pieces they make and the most important.
Now on top of having some of the industries coolest light painting tools they also have a huge section on their site dedicated to teaching you how to make cool light painting pictures with their brand ambassadors. Cue the image below that I have titled “quarantine.” I mean doesn’t it look just like that! It is totally awesome and it was incredibly easy to learn. I just went to their YouTube channel and followed the step-by-step guide from Jason Rinehart and, BOOM — magic!
There are endless amounts of education on their site that even if you are a beginner light painter or photographer you can easily create a cool image that you will be proud of. Check them out and see for your self what I am talking about and when you finale decide to order something just get everything cause you won’t be able to stop once you start.
My favorite tools
Here are three of my favorite light painting tools that they offer and how I use them in my photography to create a one of a kind look.
- White Fiber Optic Brush: Great for use in portrait photography to create wispy light streaks.
- Diamond Plexiglass: Also known as a Light Blade, creates a dramatic effect with its hard edges and sharp lines
- Light Sword: Great for creating super wide streaks of light, the semi-opaque finish creates a soft light texture.
If you’re like me and you are obsessed with light painting or if you want to just try something new, I highly suggest you check out Light Painting Brushes. They have some amazing tools that create a variety of effects in a wide range of colors. They are incredibly simple to use and you can quickly and easily switch lights and light modifiers within seconds. So check them out and let me know what you think!