What is Light Painting?

Light painting is an `in camera’ photographic technique in which images are created within a single, long exposure, using light sources to `paint’ a picture with light.

Simply put – when the shutter is open on the camera, any light source moved, or shone onto an area is captured by the camera.

Light Painting photography is not a new technique. Its origins can be traced back to 1914 when Frank and Lillian Gilbreth took time lapse photos to study movement of manufacturing and clerical workers.

In 1935, Avante-garde artist, Man Ray, created his `Space Writing’ series of art. Using a small pen light he produced swirls and loops in the air which were captured in photography.

In 1949 Gjon Mili captured the now infamous light drawings created by Pablo Picasso.

With the advances in digital photography in recent years, Light Painting has seen a growth in popularity, and is now a swiftly evolving art form.

How is it done?
By moving lights in front of, or out of shot, whilst the shutter is open on the camera.

As light painting is usually created in low to zero light, all that you see within the resulting photos are what has been painted using light.


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