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Lecture: Introduction to Light Painting

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By Jürgen Lobert

This is part of our indoor winter program and the third and last part of the Introduction to night photography series, which focuses on light painting.

This is an advanced lecture about adding artificial light to night photos through a number of techniques, about 90 minutes long. It is strongly recommended that you attend the "Introduction to night photography" lecture or have at least some experience with light painting.

There are three different activities, collectively often referred to as "light painting". I like to differentiate the following:

• Light painting: you don't see the actual light source. Think of it as using a paint brush of light to illuminate existing surfaces. You emphasize the objects.

• Light drawing: this is where you point the light at the camera and draw up shapes and figures. You create new objects, background may be secondary or complementary.

• Light writing: the same as drawing, except that you write actual words or do light calligraphy. Very specialized and quite difficult to do well, we will not go much into this. You create messages, the background becomes secondary.

Here is a rough outline of what will be covered:

• Basic settings: what's different from regular NPy?

- adding light to fill in dark shadows (equalize)

- adding light as a major (and visible) component (emphasize)

• Light sources for light painting:

- flashlights: LED, incandescent, light colors

- flashes

- light gadgets: trip to the toy store, anyone?

• Light modifiers: reflectors, snoots, baffles, gel filters and paint brushes

• What makes an object look interesting? Hint: it's shadows!

• The basic concepts:

• How to • Light Painting: how to convert a flashlight into a paint brush

• Light Drawing: unleash your arteestic side

• Light Writing: calligraphy, anyone?

• The three secrets to becoming a master in this.