This Basics Guide is everything you need to know to get started with light painting

Jul 11, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This Basics Guide is everything you need to know to get started with light painting

Jul 11, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Light painting has increased massively in popularity over the last few years. It’s not really surprising. Gone are the days of film where you had no idea whether you’d got the shot or not until hours or days later. The instant feedback of digital and zero extra cost of shooting a thousand photos rather than one has made its popularity pretty inevitable as more people have acquired DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

But if you’ve never done it before, or you’ve had a go but didn’t get results even close to what you hoped for, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what you did wrong and what information you’re missing. Well, this video, the first in a series, from photographer Susan Magnano will help explain it to you. In it, she goes over the terms, techniques and tools you need to get started.

Light painting doesn’t have to be a difficult subject to shoot. You can certainly make it difficult once you get a bit more advanced and it can sometimes feel difficult if you’re not quite sure what you’re doing yet, but it’s easy to pick it up. Susan’s video goes over a number of topics, starting with the bare basics of what light painting even is (and there’s more than one type!), through choosing your settings, the tools you’ll need and location scouting.

This is the first part in a series that’s coming to the B&H YouTube channel, with four more parts coming between now and early August, with topics covering the camera gear and more tools, light painting portraits, and editing your light paintings in Lightroom, so be sure to keep an eye out for those.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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