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Light Paint Like A Ninja – Awesome Behind The Scenes Light Painting

By Matthew Saville on January 1st 2013

Happy new year, from SLR Lounge!  We hope that 2013 will be a year full of incredible photography and fun adventures for all.

Thanks to the great guys at, we came across these incredible examples of light painting by Vincent Bruno.  If you are interested in how this kind of thing works, Vincent’s time lapse videos show the light painting as it actually takes place.  It is truly incredible to see how each little stroke of light comes together as the final image!  Here are a few examples of what a real “light painting ninja” can do!

If you tried light painting last night on New Years’ Eve, you may have a few questions about how this kind of stuff works.  Basically, the best tips to give are as follows:

1.)  Get a tripod!  Absolutely essential if you want the best overall quality.

2.)  Get your camera settings set up for a 30-second (or longer) shutter speed.  At night, you might be able to do this at f/2.8 and ISO 100, or f/5.6 and ISO 400-800; it just depends on how bright the ambient light is around you.

3.)  Get a flashlight (or sparkler, or anything) that has an easy on/off switch.  The best tools are the ones that simply are press-on only, so you don’t have to fiddle with an off switch after each stroke.  Little LED keychain / pen lights usually function this way.

4.)  Sometimes your flashlight is explosively bright, compared to the dark ambient light around you.  If this is the case, either find a dimmer flashlight, or change your overall exposure so that your aperture / ISO are “darker”, but your shutter speed is longer to compensate.  Then, simply move your flashlight faster through the photo, and it will become less of an overall influence in the final image.

5.)  It helps to mark out your “canvas”, (edges of your camera view) …and then use ALL of it!

6.)  If you’re having trouble “writing backwards” for letters and other symbols, try holding your flashlight backwards in your hand, face the same direction as the camera so you don’t have to draw backwards, and then just be careful not to block the camera’s view of your hand as you draw. ;-)


Alright, good luck everyone!

Click HERE to see more samples on!

Click HERE to visit Vincent Bruno’s Youtube page!


Marie Arum





Loulou Piano






Amsterdam Shiva

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Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Basit Zargar

    Thanks . Good info

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  2. Raphael Supa Ketwaroo

    damn, that is awesome

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