Light Graffiti Tutorial
So you want to make your own light graffiti? This page will show you how! Be aware, though, that there's no one way
way to do it. This tutorial is just some advice on how to get started. The best light graffiti you'll ever make will be done when you tweak your camera settings how you see fit and use your creativity to do new things.
- A tripod (or a table to rest the camera on) is critical. Otherwise, your pictures will come out blurry.
- You'll have the best luck with higher-end cameras, but some (read: not all) point-and-shoot cameras will work.
- Some sort of light source. LED flashlights work well, but try different types to find the effect you're looking for.
Places with statues and playgrounds make interesting photos because you can decorate things in the pictures. Parks, schools, and playgrounds are good bets. The most important thing: Be creative!
- The time you go will depend on how well-lit the area is. If there isn't much lighting, go at sunset. You'll need at least a little bit of light so the objects come out in the picture. If the area has streetlamps and other sources of lighting nearby, you should be fine going at night.
- Mount your camera on the tripod. It's really important that you have a tripod to mount your camera on. If you don't, your pictures will come out blurry.
- You'll need to adjust your camera settings to have a long shutter. It varies depending on how your camera is designed. Set it to as much time as you need (15-30 seconds is usually good).
- Take the picture and try not to move the camera. Point the LEDs directly at the camera as you draw in the air. You'll need to play around with different techniques.
- If objects you want in the picture come out dark, shine a bright flashlight (like a Maglite) at the object for a second or two before the end of the frame.
- Show off your work at Mark The Dark!
- Experiment with using your environment. This picture was made by having somebody swing around on a tire swing while moving the flashlight:
- You can create cool effect by buying various types of lights. This photo was taken just by using a ring of LEDs: