2020 WEEK 30: Light Painting

For this week’s challenge, we’ll play with Light Painting.

The basic idea of light painting is to photograph one or more lights as they move across the image. Depending on how you move the light, you can create any number of shapes, pictures, or patterns. The resulting images can be quite fun and creative. Let’s dive into some examples:

Light Painting – Andrew Rivett

In the example above, the camera was placed in a dark room, mounted on a tripod. The photographer then took a long exposure (in this case, 2 seconds), while someone waved blue and green lights around in the room. Since the room itself is dark, all you see is the lights moving in mid air.

Light Painting – Cabrera Photo

Another option is to combine light painting together with a more traditional subject. This can be a great effect, as it allows you to make almost cartoon-like drawings on real-world objects. I love this example, and how the photographer added a touches of good and evil to the portrait.

There are countless videos and tutorials online if you’re looking for ideas or tips. Here are a couple of helpful tutorials that stood out to me:

Not surprisingly, this week’s challenge is wide open to creativity: Write something in the air; draw basic shapes or some fun patterns; experiment with colors. As shown with the “angel” example above, you can even use light to paint on (or just illuminate) existing objects or scenes. Naturally, you’ll likely want to experiment and see what looks good to you– keep trying until you get something you like! As always, fun, creative, and out of the box ideas are welcome 🙂

The Challenge

  • Take a photo that shows off your light painting skills. Have fun and be creative.
  • Post your newly taken photo during the week of Sunday, July 19 through Saturday, July 25.
  • Please remember to comment on at least FIVE photo submissions this week by answering the question “why?” in your comments. In other words, “why do I like (or not like) this photo?” or “why did this photo catch my eye?” Thank you!

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo:  #2020photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2020 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

About Eric Minbiole

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been absolutely fascinated with anything technical– electronics, computers, cameras, gadgets, etc. Growing up, I loved taking things apart to see what was inside. While I couldn’t always put things back together, I loved trying to figure out how things work. Because of my love for all things technical, I pursued a degree in Electrical Engineering, and currently work as a Software Engineer. I’ve been fascinated with photography ever since borrowing my parents 110 film camera when I was young. It’s been a great hobby ever since: I love experimenting with photos, and trying new things. I especially love technical and/or trick photography. (“Gimmicks!”, as my wife jokingly calls them 😉 ) While I’m comfortable with the technical side of how to shoot, I struggle more with the artistic side of what to shoot in the first place. This is one reason I quite enjoy this group: There are fun, interesting ideas each week. I joined PhotoChallenge as a participant in 2014, and am amazed at how much this group has helped me learn. Each week, I look forward to the fun, creative challenges that Steve, Trevor, Gary, and Jeremy put together. Most importantly, the weekly challenges give me the motivation to get out there and take photos each week. (Otherwise, I suspect my camera might be gathering dust on the shelf.) As well, interacting with the fantastic members of the group– discussing suggestions, techniques, what works, what doesn’t– has been an invaluable help. I am absolutely thrilled to join the PhotoChallenge team– I’ve learned so much from the group, and hope that I can give back a little bit. If you’d like to see some of my photos, please check out my flickr page.