Photo Challenge

Light painting

This week’s challenge was suggested a while ago by Robert.

I would like to suggest Light Painting. Light Painting is a technique that has been out there for some time. Everyone can do this with just simple tools like a flashlight or a bundle of LEDs. Even with steel wool in a whisk, some dedication, and a big free area to play with. Do it with your kids or other relatives and you will have a great night/evening. Because this has to be done in the evening, which makes is more challenging.

Ideally for light painting you need a camera that lets you set manual exposure. Set the camera to manual exposure mode (M) and choose a shutter speed of several seconds. For cameras that don’t offer manual exposure, you might be able to get away with choosing night mode or fireworks mode, which also offer a fairly long exposure.

For more details, have a peek at these guides. The third link has loads of cool ideas, too.

I hope the technical barriers don’t preclude too many people from trying this. I hope we can get some interesting and exciting images in a week’s time! Any questions – just ask here as usual :)

Please send your entries in by 14th January 2014 – have fun!

Author: Jonathan

Challenge Admin, I enjoy taking photos mostly of landscapes and architecture - but I will try anything! I mostly shoot film and I spend a lot of time in my darkroom trying to get the perfect print. I'm a sysadmin for a living and I also enjoy cycling and music technology.


  1. Light Grafitti, or light painting? Technically two different things! Perhaps a combination of the two?? :)

  2. Well spotted, Lee. I was intending that we try light graffiti.

    Both use a moving light source during a long exposure, but the difference is that light graffiti uses the light source itself in the picture, facing the camera. Light painting uses a torch not visible in the shot itself to cast light on the subject.

  3. thanks for clarifying, i’ve never done either but can’t wait to try :-)

  4. I LOVE THIS!!! Almost every evening im out in the garden or the playground with my daughter, doing stuff like swinging lights around, playing with torches or sparkles. Its the best fun ever. Just recently, I made my own lightsabers with cold cathodes on 12v. Its so easy to make. Anyone can do it! here is my entry

  5. As your intention was light graffiti here is my entry

  6. This is the first time I’ve had a shot of this. I’ve only got a bridge camera so couldn’t have infinite shutter speed. I did the best with what I’ve got though! A very dark kitchen and a torch… job done. Lots of fun.

  7. I agree so much fun :o) It was raining in Wales this evening which is typical because if I had set it up to do last night it was a lovely (cold) crisp night. A good excuse to do it again though!!

  8. Long time since I have been on this site but could not resist this one

  9. It’s also my first attempt at light graffiti. Here’s my entry, shot with my compact camera (fireworks + macro modes combined), a lighter and a Mirror (playing with reflections… oops I did it again !)

  10. so this is mine… Basically, despite many efforts, I couldn’t put the bunny together right, so I took a photo of each body part and smushed them together… His name’s Frankenbunny 😀 I hope you love him as much as I do :)