Nightscapes – light painting

The images in the gallery above were created using a technique known as ‘light painting’. In light painting we use a light source such as a torch to produce very creative images. Other light sources such as sparklers, candles, flares etc can also be used to great effect. In the above images I used my torch which also has some very low-powered coloured (red, green, blue) LEDs. Since I was taking long exposures to capture the stars, only very low-powered light sources are required. The coloured LEDs in my torch are not bright enough to be used as a flashlight for finding your way in the dark but are quite capable of lighting up tall trees in 30 second exposures. To the naked eye you can hardly see the light on the trees etc but the camera is quite capable of picking up a lot of colour over 30 seconds. In fact the images out of the camera were so bright that I had to reduce the colours significantly as they just looked completely saturated with high-intensity colour. While the camera was taking 30 second exposures I only ran the coloured torch over the area for a few seconds during that time. You will need to experiment to find the effects that you like and to best meet local conditions too. Man-made objects seem to work better with different colours than natural objects such as trees etc.

If you have any tips about how you use light sources to make more interesting images and would like to share them, a comment would be most welcome.

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