Long Exposure Light Painting Photography

If you really want to learn your camera’s settings, I would suggest you try light painting. I first learned about light painting from my mentor Caryn Esplin. You can see some of her light painting projects here: http://www.carynesplin.com/light-painting/

She often references another master of light painting, Dave Black. Check out his creative lighting gallery: http://www.daveblackphotography.com/creative-lighting-portfolio/

Light painting is long exposure photography with a light. You can use a light pen, or a flashlight, or a… lightsaber? Yes, even a lightsaber. As long as it produces light, you can control the shadows and create some incredible imagery.

Outdoor Light Painting

Brandon Griffin Lightsaber Battle Long Exposure

Brandon Griffin light saber battle painting

Ponds add a nice reflection. I used two custom sabers for the above shots. To learn more about these Kyberlight custom saber, visit my product photography post.

The image below was created using a bike wheel wrapped with a string of lights. The axle was placed on the ground, and someone spun the wheel one revolution. This image was a shutter speed of 2.5 seconds with aperture at f/11.0 and ISO at 100. In Adobe Lightroom, I changed the tint to blue.

Brandon Griffin light painting blue orb

In the next image, I lit Cory’s face with my iPhone flashlight. Again, this is a long exposure, so I then took the bike wheel, and I held it by the axle and spun it in the circle while he held a Doctor Strange pose. I would love to sometime do this with steel wool to really get the portal look.

Brandon Griffin Doctor Strange Portal light painting

Now this was a fun image! Click on the small thumbnail below to see the original image. I had Vlad grip the lightsaber in place directly in front of a speed-light. So there are two speed-lights in this image. The one in the back providing the back-light, and one to the left with a green gel.

Now what really makes this image something is that I did not edit any of it in Adobe Photoshop. Nope! This was all done in Adobe Lightroom. How you ask? I had the pleasure of meeting Steven Hatch, he is an incredible photographer with one of the most positive attitudes. He showed me how to use Lightroom in a whole new way, especially taking advantage of radial filters in Adobe Lightroom. That is how I created this lightsaber effect. For a little over a decade I have created lightsabers in Adobe Photoshop, but I never would have thought I could do it in Adobe Lightroom!

light room light saber Brandon Griffin

Brandon Griffin kyberlight flash

I suppose the above image is not exactly light painting since the images were not taken with a long exposure, but they are still fun!

Here is a light painting with an actual subject in the image. I love the texture on the wood. If you look closely you can even see some stars.

Brandon Griffin western cowboy porch light painting

The image below has a funny story. See that light coming up from the pond? Remember Vlad from the lightsaber shot above? He accidentally dropped a maglite into the lake. To our surprise, it lasted all night. You could even see fish swimming near it.

Brandon Griffin stars

crazy light painting

Click here to see my blog post on Indoor Light Painting!

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