Light and Fire painting 

Just the other day , a group of us got together to try our hand at light painting photography . If your interested in trying this , 1st you need the tubes . 

I found my tubes at Home Depot . They are used as covers for fluorescent lights . They are clear so you will need to look into gels to color the tubes : you can also purchase color tubes from amazon I was told . 


“Gels are thin flexible sheets of polycarbonate or polyester. They are also known as colored gels or lighting gels they are used in light painting photography to produce specific colors when flashes or flashlights are shined through them. Gels come in hundreds of different colors. They can also be used to create lighting effects in front of the camera with reflected light. Gels can be expensive, a good place to start to build your gel collection is searching for Roscolux sample packs, these come in a few different sizes the 1.75 x 2.75 can be a little small for some flashes so the bigger 3 x 5 swatch book is the one to go with if you can find it. You can also get individual colors if you already know what you want.”

Next you will need a flashlight . Straight, bright beam would be my flashlight of choice : 


Flashlight and torches and the backbone of any light painter’s arsenal, we consider them our brushes. They come in an unlimited variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Some important features to look for when selecting you light painting brushes are:

Size and Weight: Light painters often have to travel long distances to arrive on location so the lighter you can make you gear the better.

Lumens: Flashlights and Torches are rated on a scale of “Lumens”, that is the brightness of the light beam. The more lumens the brighter you torch will be and the further you can throw the beam of light.

Focus: Some flashlights beams are spots, some are floods, and some have a focusable beam. Flashlights with a focusable beam are best for light painting photography for the versatility they provide.

Color Temperature: Light’s color is measured in degrees Kelvin. Flashlights and torches come with different bulbs types. Different bulbs will have different color temperatures, generally LED bulbs will give off a whiter (or cooler) light than an incandescent type bulb. I find that LED’s are much more versatile for light painting, the whiter light provides more of a blank canvas that you can apply colored gels to create your desired color.

And you will also need a tripod . 

So my experience this 1st night of trying this all the tools would be , tubes , light , camera and tripod . You would be able to accomplish this with these things . Next you can do with a model or without . But you need a person to work the light . This person moves the tube in different ways and your camera should catch the movement . I’ll get to my setting next . But , it is possible to do this alone . I am not sure the results , but , you could hold the tube yourself and with a remote trigger your camera . 

My basic settings for this shoot was shutter set at 4-5 seconds . ( using bulb setting works as well as the shutter stays open as long as you hold the button ) the problem with that is moving the camera . With bulb setting use a remote and hit the button then hit the button again to close the shutter . I just set my shutter speed for a few seconds . 

Next the aperture was set at F11 , others there were set about F8 . I prefer the darker shots . 

ISO was 400 . 

Next we did the fire painting , my settings were the same , and because I wasn’t involved in setting that up , I can only say they used , a whisk , the end of the whisk stuffed with steel wool . The wool was a special grade that will burn , I do not know exactly what that was . But here’s the results . 


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