Light It Up


Photo credit: Christian Johnson


In the world where Snapchat filters, Instagram filters, and smartphone automatic cameras put a limit on what we are able to do with the camera, there is a photography technique that is cool is relatively easy to do; it is called light painting/long exposure photography.

Light painting allows for different imagery to be created, all from the movement of lights. This can range from patterns to representations of humans or objects, all created with strands of lights moved in different directions by the person holding them.

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  • Photo credit: Christian Johnson

  • Photo credit: Christian Johnson

  • Photo credit: Christian Johnson

  • Photo credit: Christian Johnson

All you need are different colored lights, which can be found pretty inexpensively at the store, a camera that can take a long exposure, and a few friends to move the lights around.

A camera where you can manually adjust the settings is the best for this type of photography. It allows you to be able to manipulate the settings to achieve the exact look that you want.

The manual settings recommended for this type of photography are: a shutter speed of 30 seconds, an f-stop of 8 and an ISO of 100. However, you can play around with the shutter speed for a longer or shorter exposure time.

It takes practice but once you get the hang of it, it’s a fun and easy way to make cool photos that don’t even need to be edited.