Creative light­ing

Light­ing doesn’t have to be bor­ing, as this month’s Mini test proves...

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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.

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