So what is light painting? It’s a photo technique where you take a very long exposure with a moving light source. This ends up creating cool laserlike effects in your image. It is fun, cool and actually pretty easy to setup.

To get started you only need three things: A camera, something to keep your images sharp and your camera stable (like a tripod) and lastly, a light source. You want to make sure that your light source is something that you can easily move around like a flashlight. Your phone works great too, or you could try these really cool light paint brushes.

Camera settings

Next, you are going to want to make some changes to the settings of your camera. First, make sure your camera is in manual mode, and set your exposure to somewhere between 10 and 30 seconds. The longer you set your camera the more time you can run around feeling like a Jedi!

Then you are going to want to change your ISO to its lowest point (usually 100). Your aperture should be set to somewhere between f/8 and f/22, depending on how much you want in focus and how much you will be moving. You also want to make sure that you manually focus before you turn off all your lights. Then you’re ready to go.

The fun part

Now comes the fun part! Take a picture and during your camera’s long exposure, write a word or two or draw a picture or a symbol. Basically do anything crazy that comes to your mind during that time. Just have fun!

Mess around with the settings and your lights so you can really see how they work and start perfecting your light painting. There really is no right or wrong way when it comes to light painting. You can do just about anything and people will instantly think it is awesome, including your kids!

Head over to my tutorial to learn how to make light painting spirals the easy way.