Painting With Lights

I went to a local photography group gathering to play with “light painting”. I’ve been curious how photographers get those photos showing the path of lights, for example, night photos of a ferris wheel with the lights making a path through the air.

I knew it had to do with a slow shutter speed, but how slow, and what about the ISO and aperature settings?

Well, I got a taste of this fun photography trick, which was a treat to learn. The group was led by a couple people I know. They did a great job giving the photographers lighting effects to shoot.

While we waited for it to get dark, we shot photos of the sun setting. The sky was a blazin’!

We also took photos of tracings of an infrared light. It hadn’t quite gotten dark enough yet.

Since we were in a cemetery part of the time…

This was done with a lit pumpkin

I especially liked the trick of placing steel wool into a whisk, lighting the steel wool on fire and swinging the firey ball around in the air, producing photos like this…

It was fun having someone set up opportunities to play with this effect and to compare what the other photographers were capturing, which varied depending on the settings they were using, their lense, and their zoom level. I had my shutter speed at 10 seconds, ISO 200, and aperature 8. I have finally found all the right buttons to set those things!

If you have a willing partner, give light painting a try sometime. I think you’ll enjoy the photo surprises you’ll see.

This was my favorite photo of the evening so I’ll sign off with it. If you click on the photo and look at the larger image, you should see a beautiful name on the monument.

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  1. Way cool! The steel wool photos remind me of large Daddy Long Leg Spiders all aglow!

    It’s interesting that you picked a very straightforward photo as your favorite.
    Even clicking on it, I wasn’t able to make out the name. My eyesight, even with reading glasses, ain’t what it used to be.


  2. Wow, girl that was just amazin’!!! I sure didn’t expect a light show when I popped over. I was just beautiful!!!

    I must be blind as the bats that fluttered ’round that cemetery…I couldn’t read the name when I enlarged the photo.

    God bless and have a wonderful weekend!!!

  3. Your photos turned out really well!!! I too love the ones with the steel wool. I’ve also seen it done with bikes that have lights at night.

    I’ve been working on capturing the night sky. There’s nothing like photography at night to help a person understand the link between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. I captured a shooting star this summer. I hope to try for night lightning next summer.

    Thanks for a fun post!

  4. Love all those shots. I need to learn how to shoot the northern lights. I never thought of finding a class locally to do that.

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