Deal 7: How to make money through your photography
I’m not sure if this has been shared before, but it’s fun and fairly simple. It requires no post-processing.
I used a wide angle lens so I could get bigger circles, but any lens should work.
September 2, 2012 09:37 pm
i tried n succeeded in getting nice formations but the pictures have lot of noise and shadows alongside the trails....... plz help me with improving the quality.......
August 28, 2012 10:47 pm
A few quick attempts. . .
August 23, 2012 05:11 pm
Thanks for reminding me how creative we can be when we just have fun. Hope you enjoy these: http://www.flickr.com/photos/milton427/4046667269/in/set-72157622668140312
August 10, 2012 03:30 pm
thanx for sharing this great idea.... awesome pic....
December 21, 2010 09:16 am
Hello, there are my photos. Greetings from Poland! :)
November 11, 2009 06:20 am
So I finally had to try this as well. It looked so cool!
For the second picture, I attached a pen to the middle of the string to change the way the bottom light swung.
I focused the camera on the pen in normal light, and then switched it to manual focus so it wouldn't try to focus in the dark. I used f/11 and f/13 for my shots. Thanks for a great article!! :)
September 28, 2009 06:33 pm
Finally I've tried...
September 25, 2009 03:51 am
Cool idea! I tried it with a patio umbrella light(ring of LEDs) swinging from a hook. taped some gel filters to it as well
Hope the links work.
September 24, 2009 12:40 am
Stefano, thanks for the encouragement! I did keep working on it and I got a couple I'm happy with. Thank you.
September 23, 2009 01:52 pm
My first try at light painting.
September 22, 2009 04:48 pm
the flashlight can be straight or "somehow" straight. It does not matter too much.
Make it move, don't be afraid. When I tried I used about 5 ft string and the flashlight oscillation was around 1-2ft.
Exposure around 10 to 40 seconds
Don't give up. Try again.
September 22, 2009 06:45 am
Ok, I tried it and I got NOTHING like what you all are showing. Does the flashlight have to be hanging absolutely straight down (because mine has a "handle" that's on one side so it hangs a little crooked)? My results are tiny on a large black field and very little movement...more like a big smear of light. Any suggestions? I love the idea and some of your results. Help a sister out! Thanks!
September 20, 2009 11:51 pm
I finally tried it,,,, http://www.flickr.com/photos/adeeperblue/3933375948/
September 11, 2009 07:24 am
Loved doing this project. Really good results with a few pieces of equipment and a little bit of patience.
Some amazing effects can be created. Here are a few on my experiments:
September 9, 2009 07:44 am
This was a great idea and interesting project to do. Here are my results: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chella/sets/72157622138011381/
I used a small MagLite that uses AA batteries.
September 6, 2009 07:38 am
Thanks for this Darren, I had great fun doing this. Had a few problems getting the focus right. Any tips on this more than welcome. I put some twists into my string after a while and discovered some interesting results! Here's my effort. Tom http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2565/3890229477_872b248186_o.jpg
September 4, 2009 02:17 am
This is great. Something I'd really like to try.
Can any of you guys specify which flashlight is suitable for this purpose and where can I get it? Specific name/brands, links on Amazon. I looked in DuaneReade but couldn't find any
September 3, 2009 07:04 pm
I'll try it shortly! Fantastic!!
September 3, 2009 11:00 am
When I did this many years ago, I used some colored gels that a theater friend loaned me. They are just sheets of plastic that are about 9" square and are different primary colors.
If you want to, you can make a light source from a bulb, some wire & a battery pack from an electronics store. I found that it worked better than a flashlight.
September 2, 2009 10:12 am
They're not quite as cool or elaborate but I still like them
September 1, 2009 03:22 pm
i love lightpainting
got to try this one some time
August 31, 2009 05:04 pm
A soon as I saw this I loved the idea, so I tried to reproduce the same effect.
I prepared my Canon 50D, added a little fishing sinker to the flashlight and shoot a couple of test photos:
My son (8yo) and myself liked the results and started to experiment. We first added some blue filters:
Then we tried with a yellow-orange-red sequence:
Finally we fixed the sinker a foot above the flashlight instead of on the flashlight itself and we got some chaotic behavior in addition to the basic circles (we used green and gold filters here):
Thay's all. I just wanted to share this with you. I hope you like it.
August 31, 2009 06:31 am
Great tips. l had fun painting glass marbles with light but l still have a problem with the
ISO settings. l can't wait to try this. Thanks.
August 30, 2009 10:51 am
Thank you so much, had to try it immediately of course. Mine were not so spectacular, but it was great fun! Will definitely play with it some more. Thanks as always DPS!
August 30, 2009 10:20 am
OK first attempts failed but mistakes help us learn. Read the "small aperture" as that and had my numbers the wrong way around! So finally set to f27. Also, my camera would not focus with my trigger release so read some posts and managed to get it to focus and then switched to manual focus. The light was a flashing light that when moved changes color (like you get for raves) but I am too old for that so $2 shop! We only had Dulphins at our house.... Anyway, hung it from a air con vent from the ceiling with a piece of string. Shutter was open about 50 seconds. Laid the camera flat on the floor below (took some tests shots to make sure it was in frame) and played. Make sure you pop a cloth on the floor first to not scratch your display. As a learner I cannot tell you how satisfied I was to get this result. You rock Darren! Thanx for the post and the great site.
August 30, 2009 06:05 am
You can take this one more step by using to hooks and first creating a "V" of string between them, then hanging your single string and flashlight from it. By varying the lengths of the strings you can create some very complicated/facinating patterns:
August 29, 2009 06:15 am
I don't understand what you mean when you say to throw the flashlight?
August 29, 2009 03:07 am
Hey, interesting I tried it, but my shapes are nothing like yours, yours very amazing how did you throw it, and how long were your shutter speed, and the light in my room is hung, so I just covered it with cupboard and threw that around, so it slowed down fast, and the last cycles were much brighter than the first ones, and what length of rope or whatever you hang your flash light with you used,thankyou for the great Ideas
August 29, 2009 12:48 am
I used a three led light, white and close together, shutter of 15 seconds and looks like a ball of energy
looked pretty cool
or 30 seconds and F29
18-55mm kit lens canon, zoom in to like 20 ish and then do it
i suspended my flashlight with a stick so i moved the stick instead of risking my hand into the photo
August 28, 2009 02:55 pm
New fresh ideas, thanks for sharing!
August 28, 2009 12:55 pm
Wow, so cool ! I'll try today !!!
August 28, 2009 06:15 am
Great concept, guess I have a new project for the coming weekend now, thanks for the tip.
August 28, 2009 05:54 am
Looks great, will be trying this out ASAP, how should i be focusing?
August 28, 2009 04:28 am
I did this a very long timee ago with film, and found if you made a "Y" with th string and to attachments to the ceiling you got some great and interesting images.
August 28, 2009 03:03 am
Definitely have to try this... with such a long exposure does the celiing that the hook attaches have to be black? it seems like the ceiling would become exposed after 2-3 minutes in bulb.
August 28, 2009 02:30 am
I gave it a try last night and was very happy with the results. I posted some here:
August 28, 2009 02:14 am
A few questions...
Does the flashlight hang at the very bottom of the piece of string, or does the string run past the flashlight?
I can't figure out how the string is illuminated if the flashlight is at the very bottom end of the string...
Would love to see a pic of a set-up! (hint hint!)
August 28, 2009 02:07 am
Lost in the sauce...I don't understand.
August 28, 2009 01:47 am
This reminds me of the old spirographs! I am going to try it with colors. Which would work better- colored bulbs or colored acetate?
August 27, 2009 09:43 am
As a kid, 40 years ago, I did same idea, but instead camera and bulb, I used pencil and paper.
August 27, 2009 08:53 am
Something else to add to my must do list.
August 26, 2009 09:34 pm
Link didn't work
August 26, 2009 07:40 am
Great fun - just had to give this a try. This was the best of my 4 attempts to date.....CLICK
August 26, 2009 07:09 am
To get the camera to focus in the dark it is helpful to use a flashlight to get the camera to focus, then switch to manual focus so you are always in focus.
If your camera does not have a full manual mode, try reviewing your manual and use the longest shutter speed you have. Something over 10 seconds would be ideal.
August 26, 2009 06:13 am
lans on mine you put the shutter speed all the way down (as low/slow as it will go) and it will say bulb (I have the Xsi)
anyone have ideas on the focus thing?
August 25, 2009 10:49 pm
sorry for my stupid question but is there a bulb setting in DSLR?
August 25, 2009 09:46 pm
Another way to paint with light:
August 25, 2009 09:06 pm
How cool is that! There have been some awesome ideas on this website. Great place for inspiration and new ways to photographically experiment. Love it!
August 25, 2009 01:40 pm
ok I just tried this a bit. got some cool patterns but mine are all out focus. do you use manual focus or auto with all focus points on or what?????? added a few of my attempts (to ge tthe purple I put tissue paper over the light) My flashlight had 3 small led bulbs which I thought gave it a cool effect.
August 25, 2009 01:32 pm
The aperture and ISO control the apparent brightness of the torch, since it will be moving during the exposure.
Having a small aperture will give a greater depth of field, which makes it easier to have the torch in focus.
Decreasing the ISO will result in less noise.
Note that a smaller aperture has a bigger number (f/22 is a smaller aperture than f/2.8) often cameras will abreviate "f/22" to "22" or simillar, making the big/litte stuff confusing until you get your head around it.
August 25, 2009 12:26 pm
An excellent effect. Here are my best shots.
With a flash to help you see the flashlight hanging from my floor joists in my basement
August 25, 2009 08:42 am
So cool, definitely can't wait to try to this out!
August 25, 2009 02:45 am
Hi, I am a newbie. I was wondering why the aperture needs to be small? Thanks.
August 25, 2009 12:08 am
To be honest, perhaps I am a too stupid and a super lowest amateur photographer because I do not understand at all, all your 6 steps explanations on how to photograph such as this one. Thanks anyway for your tutorial. God bless!
August 24, 2009 01:33 pm
My lines are nearly as smooth as the example photos but I still like it. Fun stuff!
August 24, 2009 01:27 pm
can somebody send a picture on how to prepare and set all the stuff?...i read the instruction, but still i could not get it.
August 24, 2009 01:15 pm
Thanks for this article! Here are my first two attempts.
August 24, 2009 10:21 am
Very nice results and interesting technique!
August 24, 2009 07:34 am
August 24, 2009 04:25 am
1. Like felicia asked, does the flash light need to be very thin source, to get those perfect thin lines of spiral geometry?
2. How far away from the camera must the flash light be? Guess it ought to be quite far!
Can't wait to try this out..
William - Your stuff is great! Wonderful work..
August 23, 2009 11:38 pm
Thanks again for this fun tutorial. Here's my first attempt :) http://www.flickr.com/photos/5cheherazad3/3847830297/
August 23, 2009 06:52 pm
Excellent idea! Thanks so much for sharing, I think this will be quite a lot of fun :)
August 23, 2009 04:25 pm
Whoops, guess the code didn't take.
August 23, 2009 02:54 pm
@Chris: It may be a case of high ceilings.
Regarding the maths - It bugged me too. I think if you were really determined to make a parabola, it would be possible (I know circles and ellipses and parabolas can be drawn on paper using string that is fixed at certain points and such - just apply the same with a light).
The best way to involve a parabola would be to do this outside and throw the torch (I've seen photos of this taken in a snowy place). If the torch is long and spins in flight you get dashes...
If you do it outside with a nice background scene it makes it less abstract too, if you'd like.
August 23, 2009 02:44 pm
Thanks so much for the tips Can't wait to use some of the advice in action! Keep up the wonderful work! Come see my work and let me know what you think!
August 23, 2009 02:16 pm
Haha I'm glad others pointed out these aren't parabolas :-) It sucks being the only one nit-picky enough to notice these things. The pictures are fantastic though!
August 23, 2009 01:24 pm
This looks so cool! I gotta try this one. Thanks for the great idea!
August 23, 2009 12:35 pm
Fascinating technique. I like it a lot. It would be interesting to see this with a light source that could change color or something. I would also like to point out that these are called cycloids, which as dcclark pointed out, are very much related to spirographs.
August 23, 2009 12:31 pm
I have to try this one...
August 23, 2009 11:30 am
Yes, ellipses not parabolas!
If you want to generate some more complicated figures, try attaching another weight, roughly comparable to the weight of the flashlight, in the middle of the string. Then throw it in a slightly different direction when you throw the flashlight. This will form a double pendulum, which will exhibit much more complicated dynamic behavior.
August 23, 2009 10:38 am
Thanks for the info, I'm sure my camera can do that, I'll check it out.
August 23, 2009 10:37 am
Thanks for this suggestion; I can't wait to try it!
August 23, 2009 10:34 am
Excellent. I'll give this a try. Felicia... the bulb setting allows you to leave your shutter open for long periods of time. The shutter opens with your first press of the shutter button and stays open until you press it again. Preferably do this via a wired or wireless remote because touching the actual camera will no doubt introduce camera shake. Look up "bulb" in your camera's manual for how to get this setting.
August 23, 2009 10:30 am
@felicia: On SLRs, the bulb setting is a setting for the shutter speed, which essentially keeps the shutter open for as long as you hold down the shutter button (or sometimes, you hit it once to open the shutter, and once to close it). In other words, you can have as long of an exposure as you want.
One annoying detail though: I'm a mathematician, so I thought I should point out that these have nothing to do with parabolas. If anything, the shapes that show up are ellipses. They're more closely related to Spirographs.
August 23, 2009 09:36 am
felicia, Bulb is the farthest down your shutter speed goes. You have to have your camera on Manual for this. When your shutter is set to Bulb the shutter stays open as long as you hold the shutter button down. It is best to do this with a remote shutter release cable, so you don't jitter the camera at all by holding the button down.
This is an interesting idea. The flashlight must be pretty small to get such a small precise line? I like how it makes such perfect parabolas.
August 23, 2009 09:11 am
Neat effect, I'd like to try it. I am a dummy....what is the bulb setting??
Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook
Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook
Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook
Sign up to the free DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE
GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed