Painting with light

This is a fun a easy project. You can create some stunning imagery with this technique and really get a different look and feel to your images.

The idea is to create light in areas that you want, so you end up with an individual image and the great thing is it will improve your understanding of light, how it works, distance it travels, how its absorbed, reflected and seen. You can think about it before or just go out and do

To do this I recommend spending some time in graveyards…Yes I know! It can be quite funny as people walking by can get freaked out if they see you – go with a friend so you don’t get to spooked! but they are usually in dark places with minimal light pollution – street lights etc which you want to avoid because of over exposing.


  1. A Tripod
  2. A torch – The LED ones don’t work as good as they don’t spread out the light but instead make lines which can be cool but for now use an old fashioned bulb one, they are still about and can be bought easily enough.
  3. A remote – If you have one but not essential
  4. A lens with infinity focus – If you don’t have one then don’t panic!


  1. Put the camera on to a tripod
  2. Put the ISO to 100
  3. Set the camera to shutter priority – TV or S
  4. Set the shutter speed any where from ten to fifteen seconds which will look something like this on the camera 10” & 15″
  5. Set the lens to manual focus M or MF
  6. Set the lens to infinity focus, you do this by adjusting the focus ring.
  7. If your lens does not have an infinity setting then use the touch to focus on the subject while using automatic focus A or AF – the camera should make a bleeping noise once it has focused. Once it has focused switch it to manual focus M or MF so that it does not try to refocus while you take the picture!
  8. Once these steps are complete its time to take the picture, preferably using a remote to minimise camera movement. Use the torch to paint in areas of a gravestone or what every subject you have decided to photograph.
  9. Every time you do this keep the torch moving in a painting motion, the longer the light is left in an area the more it will expose, so if its left in an area to long it will start to over expose. It will probably take you a few attempt to get it right but when you do..You will know!


Make sure you have at least one spare battery as you will use them up fast due to the long exposures – keep them in a sock (A clean one is always a good idea) cold will drain them very quick. Also make sure your memory card is large enough to store lots of data – Take a back up incase.

You might want to wrap up warm to – trust me there is nothing worse than standing in the cold taking pictures while you are numb from the face down!

Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *