Light Trails

Photography is all about how you play with light. Whatever be the kind of photography you do, light is the essential common denominator, be it portrait, landscape, macro, or any other thing you can think of.

Light trails are a mix of use of depth of field, controlled shutter speed and ISO. Along with the basic trinity, you also bring in creativity, and different props. The understanding of how a shot is being taken, or how it should be taken, is paramount while doing light trails, light paintings and such.





Its not always that a slow shutter is all you need. Sometimes, varying the light source also helps.



In the end, all that matters is, that you must have a lot of fun.



Have fun experimenting with different light sources. Understand this, when your shutter is open during an exposure, any and every movement of the light source pointing towards the camera, shall be captured by it. Use this to make shapes, letters, drawings .. the possibilities are limitless.

Good luck.


Diwali Special!

Hi all, with Diwali, the festival of lights just round the corner, I feel this post is very appropriately timed.

Light painting is dependent on long exposure shots. Have a high DOF, set the ISO low, 100 or 200, shutter speed should be slow…how slow depends on what you want to capture. If its fireworks trail, about 5′ should suffice for the standard rockets and go slower if needed. Use sparkles to create fun outlines, write your name in the air, draw your favorites and simply have fun.



These here are typical example of light paintings. In the second photo, more you can see me and my friend actually doing the painting. This ghosting effect occurs if there is suddenly a lot of light on the painter, in this case was by a passing car.

To focus, first use a light source to pinpoint the exact location you want the focus to be, use manual or auto, your choice, but once focus is achieved, switch the lens to manual, so that the focus doesnt change mid-shot. I normally ask my model to hold up the cell phone to their faces.. the light on their face is enough for me to make the focus, plus, having a deep DOF, acts as the buffer.

So, here it is, the secrets of stunning light paintings, laid bare. As the saying goes, if you put in some time, the possibilities of improvement are virtually…limitless!

Go ahead and shoot some awesome shots! Have a nice fun time! Happy Diwali!