GEAR SKILLS Beam with delight
Want to add a spooky touch to shots of statues and cemeteries? Siân Lewis illuminates the art of light painting with her Nikon and a handy torch
Dust off your flashlight, grab your Nikon and go searching for things that go bump in the night on cold dark evenings. We’re going show you how to capture statues after dark, without using any harsh flash or fancy off-camera lighting set up.
Light painting is essentially using a beam of light during a long exposure to ‘paint’ the surface of a subject, leaving it illuminated in the final image. It’s a fun photographic trick that you can get really creative with, and it’s easy to master in a few hours.
As a long exposure is essential, a tripod is a must to keep your shots sharp, and a remote shutter release is a big help against camera shake. You’ll need a subject that will keep still for you, too. We used these very patient stone angels at Arnos Vale cemetery in Bristol – but monuments, small buildings, trees, and rock faces can all work really well too.
You don’t need a specific type of torch, any will do, although different kinds will produce different effects, and the more concentrated the beam of light is, the more focused your lines of ‘light paint’ will be.