Hugo Baptista, one of our favorite light painters has a special way when it comes to Light Painting. Rather than free drawing he uses a computer controlled telescope mount to move the camera and create elaborate patterns from existing lights.
The process below is your path to creating this effect (assuming you own or can borrow a telescope mount):
Step 1: attach camera to motorized telescope mount (see the top photo for an example on how to do that).
Step 2: Go to the city center, shopping mall or fair in the middle of the night where there are lots of lights scattered around.
Step 3: Use the arrows in the controller to rotate the camera in two axis: Either individually or simultaneously. The camera can be rotated 90 degrees vertically to change the axis of rotation: e.g. changing from pitch+yaw to roll+yaw
Step 4: Set a narrow aperture and low ISO since this telescope mount moves relatively slowly but with excellent precision.
Step 5: Start exposure with a remote controller or use the 30 second exposure setting if you don’t have a remote.
Step 6: Keep pressing the arrows in controller to keep drawing your city like it’s an etch a sketch.
Step7: End exposure. Congratulations! Your own Etch a Sketch City.
If you like this kind of light painting, check out Hugo’s incredible Light Orbs done with this mount and an electric drill.