Let it glow
Light painting needn’t involve pricey kit or always look the same. James Paterson puts a fun new twist on this popular technique by taking some plastic cups and torches down to the river
Double the fun of light painting by including reflections in your images
Ever since pioneering photographer Georges Demeny attached light bulbs to an assistant and told him to jump, back in 1889, photographers have been ‘painting’ with light. So it’s time for a fresh approach to the popular technique – why not use reflective surfaces to enhance the effect? Whether you use water, glass, mirrors or even Photoshop image-flipping, a little reflected symmetry can take amazing light-painted patterns to a whole new level.
If you’re new to light painting, you’re in for a treat. Less challenging than wire wool spinning (as featured in last issue’s Your
Stories, page 64), it shows how exciting photography can be when you experiment with your exposure. A light painting is made by moving a light source through a dark scene while the camera’s shutter is locked open. The light builds through the exposure, so your torch acts like chalk on a blackboard.
You can do this outside at night or in a dark room. Once you get the basics right, enjoy experimenting with different light sources and moves to create wonderful patterns.
To learn to paint with light and enhance the effect with reflections
Beginner Intermediate Advanced
Nikon D-SLR Tripod Remote shutter release Torches Coloured plastic cups