Painting with Light

If you want to create some wonderful and unique art with your child, look no further than Light Painting.  It’s easy, inexpensive, and fast.  Mark my words though- once you get started, neither of you will not want to stop!  Painting with light is a fun art technique using a digital camera with a manual setting option, a tripod and a light source, like a flashlight, in a dark space or location.


-Find a location that is dark, indoors or outdoors.
-Set up your camera on the tripod and take a sample shot with the flash on.
-Verify your composition.
-Put your camera on manual and set the longest exposure possible (see video below for more on that).
-Turn off the lights or wait for darkness, if outside.
-Set the timer on your camera or if you have a camera that allows for long exposure shutter control, press until the shutter clicks on.
-Once the shutter is open, use your flashlight to light the stuff that you want to “paint”. You can use the flashlight like a brush and paint the object or space quickly. Areas you “paint” slowly will be more lit then others however, take care not to linger too long or you risk burning that area of the shot. Paint an object or person’s contour with the flashlight. You can also draw on a wall (or air)letters, outlines or shapes.
-Once the shutter closes, you are done and can now view your “painting”.

Follow this link to a tutorial that teaches you how to do light painting step by step.  This video won the viewer’s choice award for the “Spread the Craft” video contest.
For examples of light painting images, check out


Article By Nuria Almeida

Photo By  Evil Erin

Homework Help from SmartTutor

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