Painting with Light

Painting with Light

Before I head out to Purton, I thought I would get a little ‘painting with light’ practice locally.

It’s easy to do. You’ll need camera, tripod, remote release, and a humungous torch. After sunset, set camera, tripod, and release up, and take an exposure to see how long you have. Then, do the same again, but use the torch to wash over whatever subject you want to light – using slow movements as if you were painting. The above image was a 30 second exposure.

One handy tip – light fall off is controlled by the inverse square law – if you have two subjects, one twice as far away as the other, the furthest subject does not get half the light of the nearest, it gets a quarter. How does this affect light painting? If you are ‘painting’ a subject that falls away from you (such as this tree trunk), you will need to spend more time ‘painting’ the areas further away in order to get an even light cover over the subject (if that’s the effect you are looking for).

Mind you – I think I’m going to need a bigger lamp!