With light painting, the options for creating artwork are virtually endless. But have you ever considered adding Polaroid to the equation? It’s another interesting way of creating light paintings, and you’ll get some unique film images that we don’t see so often on instant film. In this great video tutorial, Jason D. Page will show you how to do it and give you some of his examples of Polaroid light painting portraits.
So, what’s so special about instant cameras? Well, as Jason points out, there is only one true original image, unlike when you shoot digital or on 35mm film. And you gotta admit, there is something special about it. Every light painting on instant film is like a real painting – it’s hard to make two exactly the same ones.
For this tutorial, Jason used the Polaroid One Step+ camera loaded with a Polaroid I-type film. The camera pairs with Polaroid’s app, so you have a ton of options to play with: there’s the remote shutter, double exposure, light painting mode, and full manual control of the camera.
Although there’s a dedicated light painting mode, Jason had the best results with full manual controls. He shot three portraits, and all of them were shot at f/22. He used the film that came with the camera, which is ASA 640 (ISO 640). Since the film sensitivity is pretty high, the exposure time was around 30 seconds (in Bulb mode) for all three portraits, which is relatively short compared to Jason’s other work.
In these portraits, Jason used different tools from Light Painting Brushes: Portrait Light to illuminate his model, and Collapsible Light Sword, Fiber Optic, and Diamond Plexiglass for light painting effects in each of the portraits.
Okay, so now that you have your model, your camera, and your light painting tools, you can start shooting. Connect the camera to the app on your phone via Bluetooth and put it on a tripod. There are two modes on the Polaroid One Step+: Portrait and Standard/Landscape. Portrait setting offers 1-3 feet focusing range, and Jason noticed that the sweet spot is around 2 feet (0.6m) away from the subject. The Standard/Landscape setting offers 3 feet to infinity, and the sweet spot about 5 feet (1.5m) away from the subject if you shoot a portrait.
Jason used both modes and full manual control of the camera to show you how to create three different portraits. Of course, you can get creative and come up with your own light paintings, and check out his video to pick up plenty of useful tips and tricks. Take a look at mode Polaroid light painting portraits below, and follow Jason on Instagram, Facebook, and his YouTube channel.