Empty streets, indoor living, and unending isolation. It’s a weird time for a lot of the world right now.
Some are bringing light to their lives through hobbies, home cooking, and focussing on wellness and health. Others are just trying to keep the darkness out.
Our friends at the Digital Communication Design program at Bangkok’s Silpakorn University have tasked their students, now working remotely, to add colour and life to the dark spaces that surround them with light painting. The results are an uplifting, beautiful reminder of the situation we are all living through.
Inspired by their works, we wanted to try do the same, and add some colour to dark places.
Light Painting 101
You will need three things: a camera with a manual shutter speed adjustment (or a manual setting app for your mobile like Night Cap or SnailCamera Pro), a dim light source like a flashlight wrapped in tissue paper, and a tripod or steadying surface.
- Set your camera or iphone to a long shutter speed—something between 5 and 10 seconds is ideal. If shooting with a mobile phone and using an app, follow the app instructions to drop the shutter speed.
- Frame your shot and steady your camera with a tripod, or rest it against something so it won’t move.
- Set the self timer so the camera will be completely steady before the shutter opens.
- Move your light source rapidly in different shapes and directions while the shutter is open.
- Adjust settings to reduce noise and exposure.
- Keep trying. And be patient. The results will be worth it.
Experiment with different colours, settings, and locations. The streets may be empty, but be careful around traffic and other people. The fewer moving objects there are in the frame, the better the effect will show.
Find more inspiration from the students below:
Ann Marie Ingemarsson