During this exercise we were testing different light painting techniques on a low shutter speed (10 sec.) to find new useful approaches for our No Daylight projects.
Straight and projector light creates harsh shadows and is quite concentrated.
The same projector but constantly moving. Light and shadows in the centre are the same, illuminated area is greater and it’s edges are softer than in previous example.
The same projector moved to the side creates long shadows and extended light. The closer to the projector, the brighter the light is.
The same disposition, but the projector is being constantly rotated up and down. Light is extended to the side, in this specific example it spreads mostly above the subjects, so they are illuminated more softly comparing to the previous example. Light is less concentrated.
Subjects are illuminated by a smartphone moving around them. Light and shadows look painterly and soft. Subjects are almost evenly lit.
The same smartphone slightly moving up and down on one side of the subjects barely illuminates them, however the trajectory of light draws a line.
The smartphone is moved slowly from the upside towards the subjects creating soft light.
The smartphone is moved diagonally and faster than previously creating a line of light.
Trajectory of the smartphone is wider and illuminated area is greater.
This approaches can be used to paint by light, to add some painterly effect or to create unusual and mystical lighting. Actually, there are different uses of light painting, for instance light graffiti, night photography (to illuminate objects) and portraits (to add unusual colours and lines, to ‘freeze’ several movements in one shot).
I was curious about the topic and researched it, so below are some articles, web pages and video that I found interesting.
- Tutorial on the basics: Light Painting Part One – the Photography
- Tutorial on the post production: Light Painting Part Two – Photoshop
- Amazing photographs by Eric Paré: Watch light appear to bend in these surreal photographs
- Portraits by Patrick Rochon: Patrick The Light Painter: People & Faces
- Video tutorial: Painting With Light: AirstreamTrailer
- Video about night photographers workshop and pitfalls they face: Night Photography: Finding Your Way In The Dark