Light Painting Anniversary Flowers

I had some time to myself this evening while every one was at volleyball practice, so I decided to experiment with some light painting (again.)  Tried it before here and here.  It took a few tries but I finally managed to get a decent image.


Here is what the set up looked like in the light.


At first I used a small flashlight and cut a blue balloon in half and put it over the head of the flashlight so that the narrow end of the balloon that you blow into was at the end of the flashlight where the light was shining through.  I did this to concentrate the beam of light so as to better “paint” my small subject.

However, as you can see below, this allowed way too much light to come through.


Also, you’ll notice the shadow on the wall because I had the flowers set up way too close to it.  Also, notice the blue squiggly lines on the top right hand side of the photo.  This is what happens when you don’t turn the flashlight off before pulling it away from your subject.

So, I pulled the flowers out far enough away from the wall that they wouldn’t cast a shadow and I took the top half of a balloon and put it over the flashlight and snipped a tiny slit in it, letting the littlest bit of light sneak through.  See below.


Some other things to note:  You must have your camera on a tripod to do this.  Auto-focus on the subject when your room light is on and then switch your camera to manual focus to lock in the focus because when the room is completely dark you nor your camera will be able to focus on anything.

It works best if you use a remote shutter, but the self-timer can work too.  Do not use the regular shutter release button on the camera itself because you will shake the camera and your picture will turn out blurry.

You can do up to 30 seconds of painting or set the shutter to BULB, which is what I did.  That way I could hit the button to open the shutter, turn on my flashlight, paint for as long as I think I needed to, turn off the flashlight, and close the shutter.

It is a fun challenge to try light painting.  Something different to keep me busy with photography when the weather is cold and dreary outside.


This is my very first attempt at light painting an object and I must say it was very…unsuccessful as far as light painting goes.  The light beam was too wide so the back wall was illuminated which was not good.

phone 1 - Copy

I decided to get creative with it and messed around in GIMP (Photoshop equivalent) and with some filters…

Fleur Green phone

Fleur Green phone (3)

Fellow photographer, Julie Powell, gave me a tip on how to pinpoint that light, so hopefully my next attempt will yield better results.  Can’t wait to try again!


Light painting, or light drawing, is a photographic technique in which exposures are made by moving a hand-held light source while taking a long exposure photograph, either to illuminate a subject or to shine a point of light directly at the camera, or by moving the camera itself during exposure.

My daughters and I had fun experimenting with light painting recently. They used a small flash light to create these designs. We happen to catch my pup in the first one. 🙂

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