How do I do Light Painting?

How do I do Light Painting?

Darkroom Booth  |  Documentation  |  Instructional Video


Thank you to our good friends at Imaging Spectrum for this video.


Yes, light painting can be done with Darkroom Booth. It is simply a series of settings and setup to do this.

First, you will need an enclosed and totally dark space. This can be a room or collapsible enclosure but it will need to be spacious enough to allow the subjects to move and wave their arms. The space must be dark and black walls are best to avoid light bouncing around and to allow the light painting to stand out. Leave the monitor or touch screen outside this space so that does not introduce any light into the space. (see the illustration below)

Second, you will need to use an electronic flash and an SLR. Set the camera to a long shutter speed like 5 seconds. The exact settings will depend on the size of the space and the flash power but start with 5 seconds for a shutter speed and an aperture of F11. Be sure to allow more time between photos for the long shutter speed if you are doing more than one image per session.  The goal is to get an initial image of the subject with the flash and then pick up the movement of the "paint brush" with the long exposure. If the light paint brush is too dark open the aperture more and you can increase the shutter time if they need more time to paint. You may need to adjust the intensity of the flash to get the brightness of the subject but once you find the correct balance it should remain constant.

Last, tell your subjects to get their pose and wait for the flash for them start the "painting" motions. they should avoid waving the paint brush in front of their face for best result. The broader the motions the better. You can vary the effect by using different colored LED lights.

To make the experience better you could use the phidget control features of Booth to have LED lights in the space to see before and after the session or to have a blinking green light to act as a count down.

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