Stunning Product Shots With iPhone and iPad LightPainting

I like playing around with lightpainting ever since I started photography because the possibilities were endless! One night I wanted to challenge myself to lightpaint using only my gadgets, so my iphone and my ipad.

I thought of using my iPhone as my main light to highlight the subject and my iPad to use as my background. I had an app in my iPad which had some cool patterns to use as a catchlight, then I saw a pattern which I knew would look great if I used it for lightpainting.

Final Shot

Stuff That You Need

  • Tripod or anything that you can put your camera
  • Flashlight, Tablet, Touchscreen phone
  • A room that you can turn off all the ambient light


  • Long Shutter (10sec or longer, depends on how long you will lightpaint)
  • ISO and Aperture depends on how strong your flashlight is, lightpainting is really trial and error, so you have to chimp first to see if you need more on less light on your subject

How To

1. While the lights are still on put your camera on a tripod and aim at your subject. make sure that you can completely darken the room.

2. Pre-focus on your subject: focus, then switch to manual focus on your lens or on camera so that you can click the shutter when all the lights are off.

Normally my starting point is 20sec ISO 200, @ f8, but I change the aperture or the time depending on how well the exposure is.

Time Considerations

The longer you light an area, the more light it wil get, resulting in a brighter exposure

  • Longer and Slower Lightpainting = More Light
  • Faster = Less Light

Mixing iPhone and iPad for background effects

Here is a nice trick, get a pattern to show on your iPad and swing it behind the model to generate a nice looking ground

The Final Shot

Final Result

After that I played around with just only using my iPad as my background then using flash for my main light. different patters will create different backgrounds – experiment!

More examples

example 1

example 2

example 3


  • John James

    Galaxy Zoom and Nokia are SERIOUSLY BETTER camera…

    • matt jones

      I think you are missing the point here John, he didn’t take the photos with the ipad he used the ipad screen to do some light painting in the background.

    • iamYuan


    • Ezzy

      Nokia is a manufacturer, not a phone model. Not all their phones have great cameras.

    • Darryn Lowe

      It’s got nothing to do with the camera specs. I’ve seen images from both those phones and frankly was so unimpressed despite the Nokia used having 40 megapixels.

      The camera on the iPhone 6 plus is amazing, not because of its specs but because the power of the machine itself to process images within the software.

      I was blown away with some of the photos I took that were low light because they were of the local Lights Festival. They weren’t as grainy as many of the images I’ve taken with my other phones.

  • RBBailey

    Look at the little pop cans! So cute. The photos at the top of this page were all taken in the dark, light painted with only an iPhone:

  • Mattfrench

    Really great results, congratulations !

  • Chriss

    hi there…really nice!!! i do this technique a long time…so here is something more advanced:
    1. go and turn the luminosity of the tablet to the brightest level as you can…
    2. select some cool Pictures in the image viewer
    3. use an black Flipcover to reveal and corver the image for short times to get them into your lightpainting composition….

    so there you can have very cool Lightstamps…like this birds…etc…there are hunderts of possibiltys…

    Sorry for my bad english and greetings from Germany!


  • Jean-François Cloutier

    Any particular App used to create those lines on the iPad or was it just an image of lines displayed full screen?

    • kondex

      stop being silly… app for that?

    • LSG

      I used an app for this, but u can just make the lines in paint or photoshop and upload it on your tablet or phone. It’s the same banana. But the app is called Softbox Pro. -LSG

  • Jesus Emilio

    I never would have thought to do this effect with the light of a tablet and mobile phone. GORGEOUS. Here you my results.

  • Hải Trình

    Great 😀

  • mzungu

    Hahah…., come to think of it a iPhone and a iPad costs like $4-500 together, u can buy a lots of lighting stuff with that much money. Looks like you can prob get away with a flashlight, and some LEDs on the cheap..

    I haven’t done any light painting, so I can be pulling shit out of my
    ass…, but I can imagine u can be spending hours behind the scenes
    trying to getting the exposure right with a iPod light….how far, how
    long you have to point and paint certain places, etc.

    That’s probably what pro-lighting gears will get ya in addition to time saving, some controllable consistency.

    • Victor Martins

      Dude, you’re missing the point! Nobody here is suggesting that for you to achieve that results you should buy a iPhone and a iPad. You can use any light source to do that, even a flashlight. The idea is to use whatever that procuces light to create stuff like that. iPhone and iPad were mentioned because everybody have them nowadays, but it really doesn’t matter!

  • Hector Yep

    This is what I managed with your advice :)

  • DSLR Video Studio

    I’ve seen other lightwriting images with ipad but really did like this for product shots.

  • Alice Ross

    Wow, that is so cool!!! I’d like that idea. I will let my husband see this and maybe we can try this out ourselves. Thank you so much for sharing those instructions above. -

  • Trygve Hemminghytt

    Works great 😀 Thanks 😉