Amazing Kids! Magazine

Light Painting

By Aryaman Sheth, Photography Editor


Light painting is a technique which was taught to me at a photography course I took in late May. They didn’t show me how to do, just told me the way to do it.

That very day I eagerly went home, wishing to try out the new and intriguing technique just introduced to me. I asked my mother to hold the camera while I made the design on the wall, in my dark bedroom. My mother tried to press the button with the pre-set shutter speed I set, but to no avail. We tried yet again when she made the design and I held the camera, but we were still unsuccessful.

I became extremely frustrated and decided to stop. Soon, however, my love and passion for photography took over, and I went back into my room and tried it again by myself. Naturally, the first picture came a bit blurry—but I was over the moon. I had figured out how to paint with light.

Then I called my mother back into the room and told her to try it. She, too, succeeded, and we tested the technique out with different shutter speeds and brightness levels. I was overjoyed and tried doing it on objects such as chairs and bags. Of course, not all of the pictures were entirely perfect. Sometimes, I used the torch where the light is not restricted to a point where there were no lines or designs, only brightly lit chairs and bags. But to me, I had taken the first step towards success.

Before I conclude, I would like to share the way I carried out this exciting technique. Here are some of the key aspects:

  1. The area or room you take the pictures in must be dark; try to keep it pitch black.
  2. Make sure you have a high shutter speed (10-20 seconds). Higher speeds can work as well, but that increases the risk of excessive brightness. Remember to keep the light inside the visible box of your camera, or you might not get the image. Choose whichever pattern you want, be it a letter or a design.
  3. Try to use the most concentrated light source (such as a laser), as this will help to prevent excessive light splash or light spreading in your picture. Torches can be used, but the light emitted is not as concentrated. It might, however, get you a nice and creative design.
  4. Lastly, don’t try too hard to make any particular design; just wave your hand around at first, and you will be stunned by the images you create. After the initial experimentation, you may try to make a design; I personally enjoy rotating my hand overlapping the light to create the most fun and imaginative design possible.

I soon hope to master light painting by trying it on cars, books, bats, and other items which I can find around the house. I highly recommend anyone to try this, as it really is a fun experience. Always remember to use a high shutter speed and concentrated light, be creative, and click the camera!