Photography #5 – painting with light

By: Kirsty

May 21 2010

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Daily Photos, On Photography


Focal Length:28mm
Shutter:30 sec
Camera:Canon EOS-1D Mark II

night shade

Last night was a nostalgic experience for me. As a photography student in the 80’s I learnt to paint with light. This involves setting up the camera on a tripod, using a very long exposure (in this case 30 seconds) and literally painting your scene with light, usually from a torch. When I first tried this technique I used black and white film. A digital camera is much easier as you can tell straight away if your exposure is correct and make adjustments if needed.

My first-born child came with me. I’m pretty sure she had as much fun as I did.

We also took some interesting night shots using available light. It was a wonderful (if somewhat unusual) family outing into the cold, dark, foggy town of Warburton.

4 comments on “Photography #5 – painting with light”

  1. Oh, I love this!!! I haven’t ever done this, but simply adore the idea.

    • It is so much fun. You can decide which bits of your scene you want lit and which bits you want in the dark. The results are fascinating. If you’re working in colour you can create different effects depending on the light source, or even use gels over the torch.

  2. I came to check out your submission to Jill’s May Challenge and decided to explore a bit. I’m a newbie to photography and love the idea of shooting in the dark. I’ll be back to look at more!

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