Photography and commentary from John Fujimagari

Light Painting

To me light painting is more than just taking pictures at night. By adding light selectively you can highlight certain features. You can create focal points or change the entire mood of an image. The first two are outdoor images and need to be done when the light is low to see the effect of your added light. Having some light in the sky allows some color and or detail in the sky. Inside, you only need a difference in light level as to be noticeable.

Wagon Moon

Wagon light painted by Catherine.

I liked the brilliant green of the grasses contrasting the deep blue of the sky. I chose a vantage point to include the moon for more interest.

Little Outhouse on the Prairie

Outhouse light painted by Samantha

The light that morning was very flat. It was lightly raining and we were shooting down wind to keep the raindrops off our front elements. I was using an Op/Tech Rain Sleeve over the Nikkor 24mm PC-E and my D300s. The old outhouse was out back by itself and nobody was set up back there. Sam came with me and operated the flashlight. It threw a nice warm light and brightened things up.

On a side note, I had been carrying around the Rain Sleeves for a few months, and this was my first opportunity to try them out. I’d say they were a worthwhile purchase. They worked great until I got inside for the shot below, where I was able to remove it.

Corner Chair

Chair light painted by Darwin.

Darwin was trying some different things by light painting the whole chair and throwing some streaks on the blackboards. I liked this shot with just the chair seat lit up and the small shadow back and to the left. I thought it brought attention to the chair by itself.


3 responses

  1. Great technique! I really like what you’ve done!


    July 6, 2010 at 08:29

  2. Hello. I love the first two shots, the grass is a fantastic shade of green. Very beautiful. Could you please tell me more about how these photos were created? I’d like to learn more about this. I’ve done some light painting photos (one is on my blog) but mine was more about capturing colourful lights as opposed to painting with a light source.


    July 9, 2010 at 05:03

    • Hi greysqrl, in your shot the light is the subject. In the images we created, we added light to highlight another subject. In all of the images on my blog, someone else was holding a flashlight and moving it over the area to be highlighted. The newer LED flashlights usually throw a colder light. I like the older bulbs with warmer light. Other than that, you need a tripod for your basic time exposure. I like your image too.
      Oh, and the grass, that’s what two weeks of rain followed by twelve hours of drying out will do to the Saskatchewan prairie!


      July 9, 2010 at 12:36

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s