25 Wonderful Christmas Light Painting Images - Digital Photography School
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25 Wonderful Christmas Light Painting Images

Light Harted (Reindeer Light Painting), Hertfordshire

Last week we shared a tutorial and image collection on taking beautiful Christmas Bokeh images which got shared around the web like crazy. As a followup we thought it might be fun to share a collection of a different type of Christmas image – those that include some aspect of Light Painting.

I am Santa Claus

Light Painting is a technique whereby you create spectacular images by moving different types of light through a scene while you take a longer exposure. The results can be quite striking – as you’ll see from the images in this post.

A Magical Christmas!

Have a Light Painted Merry Christmas Everyone!

says it all!!

He's Been, He's Been, Santa's Been! [Explored]

Merry Christmas Everyone!

December 25th is...

Bauble

Merry Christmas

Time to put the tree up!

Elf In Cone Shaped Containment Field

Feliz Navidad!!!

Xmas2011

Major Oak

Happy Holidays!

from the dark, our best wishes flickr friends!

The Magic of Christmas

Eat, Drink, and be Merry!

Sparkler Christmas Tree at the Skyway Bridge

Absolut Christmas

Merry Xmas Everyone!

Santa hangs the star

Way Harder Than it Looks

Merry Xmas [Explored]

Want to see more light painting? Check out our previous post:

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • scottc

    That’s an incredible compilation of photos, can’t imagine how the effects were achieved in a few of them.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/sets/72157631865360386/

  • Mei Teng

    Stunning light painting. Great images and I love the creativity.

  • http://fotoblog-reiseberichte.de Jens

    Exceptional ideas. Never thought one could make these picture with just lightpainting technics. Have to try it my self, if I find the time one day. But surely I will need a lot of practice first.

  • http://www.fotoviva.co.uk/ Felipe

    These look awesome, might have a crack at coming up with a few myself… These would make great Christmas cards! Thanks for sharing Darren :)

  • Danilushka

    I’d like to see tutorial published as well. It’s nice to see the images, but while my old film Nikon could do “bulb” exposures, I am not sure how to do it with the lastest digital Nikons.

  • Stephen Cooke

    Great photos, but as always with these posts recently there’s a lot of post processing goes into these too. Look at the standing Santa, he appears in two photos but he’s exactly the same image. Likewise the time taken to draw all the shapes in some images would mean that the static fairy lights would be more over exposed.

    Manage people’s expectations please. Be honest about Photoshop…

  • Scotty

    I really like the creative effects, well done. As a crime scene investigator in Florida I have used “basic” not creative painting with light techniques at major road traffic accidents where there is no or very little light. It may be two or three in the morning but the results are amazingmaking it look like daytime.

  • Eric

    Steve Cook,

    That’s part of the challenge and fun and exploration of photography or any worthwhile endeavour. People’s expectations should be to learn and work hard and you’ll figure these things out. Not that everything is handed to them like they are 4 mos. old. We don’t have to give them mommy’s nipple for everything they need to do in life. Great photo’s regardless, PS or not. I am going to try to figure some of those photos out. Merry Christmas to all and good luck with the photo experiments.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/duaneschoon Duane Schoon

    Darren, as always, thank you for the inclusion in your article. I appriciate the exposure very much.
    I will address Mr. Stephen Cooke and
    challange him to try and create an image such as mine using only lights in front of the camera as I have. I do not own a photoshop program nor is there one on any of my computers, all of my photos are straight out of the camera with no post production other than an occasional crop or color correctness using microsoft photo that came with the computer.
    My Santa Clauses are created using red and white flashlights and tracing my body. I use a white flashlight to draw my boots, then switch to the red one to outline my legs up to my waist. I continue with the white one on the belt then back to red to do my upper torso, etc…..,,, I hope you get the picture.
    If you look at my body of work, I promise you that photoshop or any other photo program was used ever. All of my pictures are taken straight from the camera, THATS WHAT MAKES THEM MINDBLOWING.
    SANTA is a 6 minute exposure, check it out on my flickr page, look at the exif info. The truth is all there !

    Nothing to hide.

    Again Darren, I appriciate the opportunity to be included along with such great pictures. Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!!!

  • http://www.louisedandeneau.com Louise

    I love the images. But I was a little put off by the video – just when he was about to explain what you need, this message popped up saying I had to buy it to see the rest! I know it’s only $1.99, but really! It would have been nice to have a more thorough explanation in this article as well. I’m disappointed.

  • http://www.yourphototopainting.com/ Gertrude Pelletier

    I love this article so much! This is absolutely incredible! So perfect and so amazing! Thanks for sharing this very nice post!

  • Stephen Cooke

    Sorry folks, I appear to have upset some of you by not being happy that some pictures here are not true light painting. I only think it’s fair to people wanting to find out more to know what is possible. What’s the point in saying here’s what you can make with string and card and then expecting to make a fully working space shuttle? This is the same.

    I love light painting and long exposure shots, it’s where some fantastic creativity can really stand out, and it’s not really about being challenged to do something – Duane, I’ve looked again at your Santas; you must have these off pat as the legs are very similar between shots which made me single yours out. Apologies. These are all fantastic images, but I stand by my statement of keeping subject matter realistic.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/duaneschoon Duane Schoon

    Steven, sorry if I took offense, I have tried hard to create the best images that I can, yet I still hear about PS.
    I really should look at this in a positive “light”. I truly appriciate the fact that my pictures are hard to believe. Thank you for your comments, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!

  • http://www.light-paint.com Andy Kay

    Thanks very much for including a few of my images, this is a great collection.

    Stephen Cooke – I can’t speak for all the images here, but I can assure you no Photoshop was used for any of the images I created. In terms of the fairy lights, that’s just a case of letting them expose for long enough then turning them off. There is a lot of timing involved in light painting. This simply becomes second nature after a while without even thinking about it – as the surroundings are dark the shutter can be left open, then it’s kind of like exposing multiple shots, but by thinking about how long lights are on for instead of how long the shutter is open for – all during a single exposure.

    Also, look more carefully at the standing Santa’s – they are different. The arms are stretched out in one image, but a very different pose in the other.

    P.S. No offence taken to your comments – I get comments like that all the time, it takes a lot of practice to achieve complicated shots with many elements, and without knowing those processes and techniques it’s hard to believe they can be produced in front of the camera. I, like many others, take it as a compliment to what we achieve :-)

  • Scottc

    These are incredible, I can only imagine how some of them were set up.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/5231322993/

  • Fran

    was really hoping for a quick sentence or two explaining how to do some of these :(

    But they are beautiful…

  • Darlene Hildebrandt

    Hi Fran – they are all Flickr images and if you click on any one of them it will take to directly to the image in Flickr where you can ask the creator directly. I’d guess most are done with a laser or light source pointed back at the lens/camera and using long exposures (15+ seconds). Some may be multiple exposures combined into one but I’m just guessing

    Does that help?

  • Alex

    I really should look at this in a
    positive “light”. I truly appriciate the fact that my pictures are
    hard to believe. Thank you for your comments, I hope you have a very
    Merry Christmas!
    http://www.cigarettespub.biz/

  • http://www.clippingimages.com/ Clippingimages

    So nice and graceful…..the
    ultimate beauty is here indeed.

Some older comments

  • Scottc

    December 27, 2012 09:32 am

    These are incredible, I can only imagine how some of them were set up.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/5231322993/

  • Andy Kay

    December 27, 2012 12:48 am

    Thanks very much for including a few of my images, this is a great collection.

    Stephen Cooke - I can't speak for all the images here, but I can assure you no Photoshop was used for any of the images I created. In terms of the fairy lights, that's just a case of letting them expose for long enough then turning them off. There is a lot of timing involved in light painting. This simply becomes second nature after a while without even thinking about it - as the surroundings are dark the shutter can be left open, then it's kind of like exposing multiple shots, but by thinking about how long lights are on for instead of how long the shutter is open for - all during a single exposure.

    Also, look more carefully at the standing Santa's - they are different. The arms are stretched out in one image, but a very different pose in the other.

    P.S. No offence taken to your comments - I get comments like that all the time, it takes a lot of practice to achieve complicated shots with many elements, and without knowing those processes and techniques it's hard to believe they can be produced in front of the camera. I, like many others, take it as a compliment to what we achieve :-)

  • Duane Schoon

    December 23, 2012 12:57 pm

    Steven, sorry if I took offense, I have tried hard to create the best images that I can, yet I still hear about PS.
    I really should look at this in a positive "light". I truly appriciate the fact that my pictures are hard to believe. Thank you for your comments, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!

  • Stephen Cooke

    December 23, 2012 03:39 am

    Sorry folks, I appear to have upset some of you by not being happy that some pictures here are not true light painting. I only think it's fair to people wanting to find out more to know what is possible. What's the point in saying here's what you can make with string and card and then expecting to make a fully working space shuttle? This is the same.

    I love light painting and long exposure shots, it's where some fantastic creativity can really stand out, and it's not really about being challenged to do something - Duane, I've looked again at your Santas; you must have these off pat as the legs are very similar between shots which made me single yours out. Apologies. These are all fantastic images, but I stand by my statement of keeping subject matter realistic.

  • Gertrude Pelletier

    December 22, 2012 06:09 pm

    I love this article so much! This is absolutely incredible! So perfect and so amazing! Thanks for sharing this very nice post!

  • Louise

    December 22, 2012 02:54 am

    I love the images. But I was a little put off by the video - just when he was about to explain what you need, this message popped up saying I had to buy it to see the rest! I know it's only $1.99, but really! It would have been nice to have a more thorough explanation in this article as well. I'm disappointed.

  • Duane Schoon

    December 22, 2012 02:52 am

    Darren, as always, thank you for the inclusion in your article. I appriciate the exposure very much.
    I will address Mr. Stephen Cooke and
    challange him to try and create an image such as mine using only lights in front of the camera as I have. I do not own a photoshop program nor is there one on any of my computers, all of my photos are straight out of the camera with no post production other than an occasional crop or color correctness using microsoft photo that came with the computer.
    My Santa Clauses are created using red and white flashlights and tracing my body. I use a white flashlight to draw my boots, then switch to the red one to outline my legs up to my waist. I continue with the white one on the belt then back to red to do my upper torso, etc.....,,, I hope you get the picture.
    If you look at my body of work, I promise you that photoshop or any other photo program was used ever. All of my pictures are taken straight from the camera, THATS WHAT MAKES THEM MINDBLOWING.
    SANTA is a 6 minute exposure, check it out on my flickr page, look at the exif info. The truth is all there !

    Nothing to hide.

    Again Darren, I appriciate the opportunity to be included along with such great pictures. Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!!!

  • Eric

    December 22, 2012 01:20 am

    Steve Cook,

    That's part of the challenge and fun and exploration of photography or any worthwhile endeavour. People's expectations should be to learn and work hard and you'll figure these things out. Not that everything is handed to them like they are 4 mos. old. We don't have to give them mommy's nipple for everything they need to do in life. Great photo's regardless, PS or not. I am going to try to figure some of those photos out. Merry Christmas to all and good luck with the photo experiments.

  • Scotty

    December 21, 2012 09:05 pm

    I really like the creative effects, well done. As a crime scene investigator in Florida I have used "basic" not creative painting with light techniques at major road traffic accidents where there is no or very little light. It may be two or three in the morning but the results are amazingmaking it look like daytime.

  • Stephen Cooke

    December 21, 2012 08:03 pm

    Great photos, but as always with these posts recently there's a lot of post processing goes into these too. Look at the standing Santa, he appears in two photos but he's exactly the same image. Likewise the time taken to draw all the shapes in some images would mean that the static fairy lights would be more over exposed.

    Manage people's expectations please. Be honest about Photoshop...

  • Danilushka

    December 21, 2012 12:17 pm

    I'd like to see tutorial published as well. It's nice to see the images, but while my old film Nikon could do "bulb" exposures, I am not sure how to do it with the lastest digital Nikons.

  • Felipe

    December 20, 2012 03:41 am

    These look awesome, might have a crack at coming up with a few myself... These would make great Christmas cards! Thanks for sharing Darren :)

  • Jens

    December 19, 2012 05:46 pm

    Exceptional ideas. Never thought one could make these picture with just lightpainting technics. Have to try it my self, if I find the time one day. But surely I will need a lot of practice first.

  • Mei Teng

    December 19, 2012 11:29 am

    Stunning light painting. Great images and I love the creativity.

  • scottc

    December 19, 2012 04:25 am

    That's an incredible compilation of photos, can't imagine how the effects were achieved in a few of them.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/sets/72157631865360386/

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