Lighting doesn’t have to be boring, as this month’s Mini test proves...
We put six light-painting options to the test
The humble flashgun is often the go-to tool for creative lighting, but continuous light sources can be just as impressive. Not only are they suited to shooting video as well as stills, they also open up a world of possibilities for creating long-exposure light-painting effects. The basic technique is simplicity itself: shooting in the dark, you keep the camera’s shutter open for a long exposure, and move around with a light. You can use the light to trace outlines round subjects, sketch shapes with it, or even create a light sphere (see page 42). As long as you keep moving, you won’t appear in the frame.
Although you can achieve a lot with a normal torch and some ingenuity, splash a bit more cash and you’ll be able to afford longer light wands, which will enable you to light paint in wider bands. Alternatively, there are more complex gadgets such as the Pixelstick, which can produce effects that have to be seen to be believed.