Light painting

Light painting means 'painting with light'. You can use any light source, like your torch, to draw anything you want, and record it with your camera.

Camera settings

Shutter speed: Use slow shutter speed so the camera can record the movement of the light source.

Aperture: Use small aperture, so you can get a slower shutter speed, so your picture will not be over exposed easily.

ISO: Use low ISO(like ISO 100), so there will not be too much noise on the picture.

What we need

Torch(or any other light source), this will be your 'pencil'


A steady tripod


Places for light painting

Dark places are good for light painting, like the beach at night, parks, or your room (with lights turned off).


Other things you need to pay attention

Use the camera timer

If you want to take a photo of yourself, this function can help you a lot. It provides enough time for you to prepare, all the cameras have this function. 10 Seconds timer will be ok, if you have a wireless control, that will be great.

Draw the mirror image of your drawing!

Also, mirror image you are drawing. For example, if you are writing 'Hi', then you have to write 'iH', so the words will show up in the right direction

Use manual focus

Auto focus does not work well in dark environment So we have to use manual focus, Illuminate the subject of the picture, then turn the focus ring until the image is sharp. Or you can Illuminate the subject, then point your lens to it and start auto focus.

After you have completed a stroke, cover the light, then move, and start another stroke. So that the images will not all linked together.

Wear Dark cloths

Dark cloths avoid your shadows in the picture

Use of Glassine paper

Glassine paper with different colors, stick them on the light source, so you can decide what color the light is


Example 1

Diffculty: 1/5



Example 2

Diffculty: 1/5


Example 3

diffculty: 2/5


Example 4

Diffculty: 3/5


Example 5

diffculty: 4/5

All examples are shot in my room at night, with lights off, windows covered with curtains