Paint By Flashlights

by Paul Gowder on March 5th, 2011

How many spinning light up toys does your child have? Seems everywhere we go they are selling those things at the Circus, Disney World, parades, etc.

Grab a few of those toys and some flashlights for a fun photo activity with your kids!

Light Painting

First set up your camera on a tripod. The camera needs to be very steady!  You can do this in your garage, a dark bedroom, and even outside on a dark, moonless night.

Set your camera on the longest shutter speed you can. With a DSLR you should be able to do 10, 20, and 30 seconds. Point and Shoots vary, but many have this option as well. You will also need to set the focus to manual. Then focus on a point in the room where you’ll do your light painting.

Now turn the lights out!

For shots like the one below, click the shutter and move the light up toys around in front of the camera!

You can even use flashlights, especially LED ones. Let your child try writing their name with the flashlight.

Another option is to do the light painting around a person!

By painting light behind a person, their silhouette will show up in the photo.

Now you can even make some fun portraits of your child!

For portraits, use the same technique as the silhouette but after painting behind them use a flash light and shine some light on their front.

And if you have a flash available you can great even more dramatic portraits!

With light paint there isn’t a right or wrong result.  Have fun experimenting with different lights, toys, and directions.

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