How to create light painting photos with your smartphone
Light painting photography opens a bunch of creative opportunities and it can keep you creative and entertained for hours. Just what we need right now, right? If you’ve always wanted to try it out, you can start with minimum gear and easily shoot light painting images on your phone. In this video, Jason D. Page will show you how and he’ll give you a few tips and ideas to help you get started.
In the video, Jason uses his iPhone 11 and a $2 app called Slow Shutter Cam. If you use an Android phone, you can try Camera FV-5 Lite or Manual Camera. Depending on your phone, its native camera app may even have the Manual mode, so you can set your exposure time. Some phones even have a dedicated Light Painting mode within the native camera app. For example, I have it on my Huawei Mate 20 Lite.
Now that we have our phone camera and the app, it’s time to choose the lights for the light painting. Jason uses a flashlight with different Light Painting Brushes. They’re great tools for light painters, but if you don’t have them, don’t worry. You can use any light you have and add to it parchment paper, colorful acetate sheets, colored gels… Be creative.
Due to the current circumstances, Jason creates his light paintings at home. He sets his phone on a tripod and sets the shutter speed in the camera app to Bulb. All the lights are turned off as Jason writes his message: stay home.
Jason has shared with us two more examples of light painting and writing that he did with this setup:
Now’s the perfect time to try out new techniques. If the light painting is new to you, I hope that Jason’s video will help you to get started. Now, I know that your creativity may not be at its peak right now. Most of us are going through very turbulent emotions and it makes us experience a creative block. At least that’s how I feel. But keep two things in mind. First, you don’t need to create a masterpiece. And second, keeping yourself occupied with something creative will help you deal with negative feelings better. So, get that smartphone and some lights and lose yourself to creative experiments. If you’d like more ideas and inspiration from Jason, you can check out more of his work on Instagram and Facebook.
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.