Light painting is very, very, very hard. However, it’s pretty fun and somewhat rewarding depending on how low your standards are. With the help of my brother’s iPhone flashlight, we were able to make drawing in thin air using light and a camera. The way this is done is with a good camera. If you’ve ever noticed how when you shake a bad camera as you take a picture, streaks of light and color result instead of clear images. This is caused because of an extended shutter speed that compensates for a lack of light. The longer the shutter is open, the more light hits the sensor, and if the camera is moving the image becomes blurred and fuzzy. However, by taking advantage of this with an extremely long shutter speed, you can put the camera down and let the subject to the moving, in this case the subject is the flashlight. The hard part is that you can’t see what you’ve already drawn so it’s all an estimation of where to put the light, and there is no eraser. Also, everything shows up mirrored. Other examples of long shutter stuff include steel wool flaming crazy picture things, and star trails, but those both require too many resources and too much effort for me to do. The following are my brother and I’s feeble attempt at light painting.
This was our first attempt, with my brother drawing, and obviously my ISO was too high, or in simpler terms, the picture was too bright. Even though it was at night, the light made it look like twilightish.
Here the composition improved but the drawing did not, again Bryn was drawing.
We went for the creepy look on this one, but notice that the very slightly longer picture made a very slightly brighter picture; these are all things you have to keep in mind when you do this.
Now we tried moving closer to fill the frame better, but my dirty UV filter created glare and smudge on the image so we took it off.
This is essentially the same picture with no dirty filter on top.
Here I drew for the first time, but the camera was pointed the wrong way, and i was too bad at drawing anyway.
With the camera reframed, Bryn drew again, but he kept his work to close together and you couldn’t really tell what he meant to draw.
We weren’t as ambitious with this drawing.
I noticed that the wind created sparks which showed up in the other pictures as streaks, so I focused on sparks instead of flashlights here, and it made me look like a weird ghost thing, and the growing fire from my blowing overexposed the image. Also, the blue streak at the top is Bryn walking across with his phone; you’ve got to remember that everything shows up if its on camera.
This spider, as big as a half dollar leg to leg, and its body a quarter sized, was literally right next to where I was kneeling in the picture with the sparks. I was grabbing the exact log it was on when Bryn noticed it miraculously.
We Bryn tried to do Pac-Man a bunch of times, and only a few turned out.
As you can see, the hard part is making the dots not streaks. I never tried doing Pac-Man, so don’t blame me.
Now, I tried to paint Bryn himself as he tried to pretend he had three heads by moving his head as the exposure went on. The key is to find the balance between pointing the light at Bryn to make him visible and pointing the light at the camera to make the lines.
Next Bryn painted me with the light, trying profusely to write “stupid,” but either made the letters backwards, the word backwards, or the painting out of the frame. And one time he forgot the “i” in stupid to maybe he’s the one…
I gave up with freehand drawing, so I traced whatever I could find on the ground, and it made for some cool lighting.
Here’s another tracing one with Bryn playing dead. As you can tell by now, there was still a smudge on the lens because there is a blemish on the same place in every picture.
It was getting late and we started to get weird; the haze you see is the fire’s smoke.
Here’s Bryn’s try at the death picture, again misspelling the word.
I tried a creepier smile, but the death ruined it. I fell like the second half of that sentence is applicable to many things.
With all this talk of death we tried to lighten things up a bit, so we drew an angel rising from Bryn’s dead body. A very fat angel by accident. But it’s still pretty good if I do say so myself.
The prequel of the angel is the grave, but the RIP missed its mark, and the “P” looks like a “B” because I messed up.
I got Bryn back for the stupid one, and he thought I was just outlining him.
That’s all we did, maybe if we get a random inspiration again you’ll see another article like this. Don’t do drugs.