Painting With Light


  • A camera with shutter-priority mode.
  • A tripod, or at least somewhere to rest the camera.


  • A handheld light source, such as a torch, a candle, or a glow stick


  • Darkness. At night away from electical lights. This exercise is easier to do indoors.


  • Shutter-priority mode at 15 seconds. You can adjust this later to suit.
  • Activate the 10 second timer so you have time to get into position.


  • Assuming that you're doing this indoors, switch on the light in the room that you're in.
  • Aim the camera at the ground where you're going to sit or stand and press the shutter button so that it focuses and starts the 10 second countdown.
  • Switch off the light and assume your position.
  • Wave your light source around.
  • Look at your results. It's hard to get it right first time so you'll probably repeat the exercise a few times.

Follow up shots

  • One cool thing you can do is get another person to stay completely still while you move the light source around them.