How to Light Paint in 3 steps


Hi Everyone.

Last week I stumbled upon some incredible photos of lights which are captured as moving objects in a photograph. One of the masters of this art  Fiz-iks, are actually a group of photographers living here in Japan. Check out their website here.

I really loved these effects, and just had to try it out. Finally we got the hang of it after some 2 hours of testing different settings for it, but to save you the hassle, this is my recipe for taking some light paintings pictures.


Step 1. The Gear

You need 3 things:

  1. A camera that has the ability of setting the shutter speed to different speeds. In my case we used a Sony NEX5
  2. A tripod to make the camera steady. I used the little one in the photo on the right, and also a bigger 1m tripod as well.
  3. A flashlight, and also some color papers to change the color of the light.

Step 2. Setup


  • Set your camera to a shutter speed of 10second to about 15 seconds
  • Set the camera’s focal ratio (f/7.3 to 8.1). I got the best effects at f/7.1  but it depends on the darkness of the room and your camera lense so try different focal ratios.
  • If you are indoors, darken the room to a dim and almost dark lighting. If you are outdoors, the moment just after a sunset is great.
  • If you want to have an interesting color to your light, just put a colored paper on the flashlight.


Step 3. Shoot away!

  • It is easier if you have someone helping you out.
  • Now the fun starts! Click the shutter button, and then start doing the different lightings that you think could be interesting.
    Here’s a video on what you could do.


You can play around changing the focal ratio, ISO, and shutter speed, but it also depends a lot on how creative you can get.

If you did this using this mini tutorial, please post your photo on the comments below. Smile


Adding letters

While doing this, I also found out you can add some funky 3D light text to your photos using your iphone or your android phone!

Here’s the final result (after many many tries)


To do this, download the apps here;


I leave you here with some other photos that I took with the help of my wife.


5 Comments How to Light Paint in 3 steps

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