This shot out of the super cool light painting portrait!


This shot out of the super cool light painting portrait!

Light painting is one of the most creative photography subjects with the highest degree of freedom. By recording the movement of light sources with long exposures, you can design and create countless visual effects.

Have you ever thought of combining light painting with portrait painting to add really cool light painting effects to your portrait works?

Today, the skill gentleman wants to explain for you is the light draws the portrait some basic technical key point and the common gameplay, certainly will let you have the harvest.

1. Equipment preparation and setting
The equipment you need to prepare can be divided into the following categories:

Portable light source. You need a light source that you can hold in your hand to "draw" patterns in the air. Flashlights, cell phones, glow sticks.

  • tripod. Light painting requires a long exposure. Even some special light painting forms of "the subject turn the camera without moving" need to use a tripod to control the rotation law of the camera.
  • flash. The best is an off-camera flash that adjusts the Angle, output power, and color temperature to illuminate and "solidify" the subject.
  • dark scenes. You can choose a room without Windows or with thick dark curtains. Outdoor scenes away from ambient light at night are also acceptable. Other forms of light sources appear directly in the background and may affect the light painting.

  • Ambient light sources can seriously reduce the presence of the light painting


    In setting up, you need to pay attention to these points:

    • shutter priority mode is recommended, with the sensitivity set to the lowest. Can be reduced exposure compensation.
    • the setting of the shutter speed depends on the completion time of your action. You can do a "pre-light drawing" first, try to draw a pattern in the air, record the approximate time, and set the shutter speed on this basis.
    •  it is best to manually adjust the output power of the flash. The position of the flash can be determined and several test shots were taken to adjust the best output power. The TTL function also adjusts the "appropriate" flash power, but only for frontal lighting.

    2. Shooting process
    In light painting, people and the camera are relatively moving, so how to take a clear portrait? You can choose two exposures and combine them; Or use the flash to "freeze" the subject.

    Set the flash sync mode to "front shutter sync" so that the flash will illuminate the subject at the beginning of the exposure. Then, long exposures are used to "capture" the light trails.
    It's best to "pre-focus" before shooting: in manual focus mode, turn the focus ring to the right position, or use a light source to illuminate the subject's face first and lock the focus after single-point focus. This way, you can at least keep the subject's face clear.

    Another caveat is that you should be prepared to "shoot multiple times." Playback the photos, check the results and make adjustments and improvements

    3. Try a variety of light sources
    You can create more diverse light painting effects by using different types and amounts of light sources.
    If you can afford it, you can also use higher-end "professional-level light painting devices," such as the pixel stick or magilight to create more professional-level light painting effects.

    The so-called pixel stick is actually a "stick" formed by many small LED lights placed side by side. You can independently control the opening and closing of each small light, and some even adjust the color.
    The shot looks something like this: