Snapguide

How to paint with light

How to make those cool sparkler, glow stick, and flashlight drawings. No photoshop required!

5
STEPS
TOOLS
First, set up your tripod...

First, set up your tripod...

...and mount your camera

...and mount your camera

[rebelmouse-image 23848108 is_animated_gif=false crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//assets.rbl.ms/23848108/origin.jpg%22%2C%20%22thumbnails%22%3A%20%7B%22origin%22%3A%20%22https%3A//assets.rbl.ms/23848108/origin.jpg%22%2C%20%222000x1500%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D2000%26coordinates%3D0%252C447%252C0%252C448%26height%3D1500%22%2C%20%22600x200%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D600%26coordinates%3D0%252C768%252C0%252C768%26height%3D200%22%2C%20%2235x35%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D35%26height%3D35%22%2C%20%22600x600%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D600%26coordinates%3D0%252C256%252C0%252C256%26height%3D600%22%2C%20%22980x%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D980%22%2C%20%22700x1245%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D700%26coordinates%3D192%252C0%252C192%252C0%26height%3D1245%22%2C%20%221000x750%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D1000%26coordinates%3D0%252C447%252C0%252C448%26height%3D750%22%2C%20%221500x2000%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D1500%26coordinates%3D0%252C0%252C0%252C0%26height%3D2000%22%2C%20%22600x%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D600%22%2C%20%221200x400%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D1200%26coordinates%3D0%252C768%252C0%252C768%26height%3D400%22%2C%20%22600x400%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D600%26coordinates%3D0%252C512%252C0%252C512%26height%3D400%22%2C%20%221200x800%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D1200%26coordinates%3D0%252C512%252C0%252C512%26height%3D800%22%2C%20%22600x300%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D600%26coordinates%3D0%252C640%252C0%252C640%26height%3D300%22%2C%20%22210x%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D210%22%2C%20%22300x300%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D300%26coordinates%3D0%252C256%252C0%252C256%26height%3D300%22%2C%20%221245x700%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D1245%26coordinates%3D0%252C591%252C0%252C592%26height%3D700%22%2C%20%22750x1000%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D750%26coordinates%3D0%252C0%252C0%252C0%26height%3D1000%22%2C%20%22300x%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D300%22%2C%20%221200x600%22%3A%20%22https%3A//snapguide.rebelmouse.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzg0ODEwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTk0MDMwN30.r4PL0sKxjiAhzyzVEUsANy6OryARLwl62h_R0Z1H4w4/image.jpg%3Fwidth%3D1200%26coordinates%3D0%252C640%252C0%252C640%26height%3D600%22%7D%2C%20%22manual_image_crops%22%3A%20%7B%223x1%22%3A%20%7B%22width%22%3A%201536%2C%20%22top%22%3A%20768%2C%20%22height%22%3A%20512%2C%20%22left%22%3A%200%2C%20%22sizes%22%3A%20%5B%221200x400%22%2C%20%22600x200%22%5D%7D%2C%20%223x2%22%3A%20%7B%22width%22%3A%201536%2C%20%22top%22%3A%20512%2C%20%22height%22%3A%201024%2C%20%22left%22%3A%200%2C%20%22sizes%22%3A%20%5B%221200x800%22%2C%20%22600x400%22%5D%7D%2C%20%221x1%22%3A%20%7B%22width%22%3A%201536%2C%20%22top%22%3A%20256%2C%20%22height%22%3A%201536%2C%20%22left%22%3A%200%2C%20%22sizes%22%3A%20%5B%22600x600%22%2C%20%22300x300%22%5D%7D%2C%20%223x4%22%3A%20%7B%22width%22%3A%201536%2C%20%22top%22%3A%200%2C%20%22height%22%3A%202048%2C%20%22left%22%3A%200%2C%20%22sizes%22%3A%20%5B%221500x2000%22%2C%20%22750x1000%22%5D%7D%2C%20%2216x9%22%3A%20%7B%22width%22%3A%201536%2C%20%22top%22%3A%20591%2C%20%22height%22%3A%20865%2C%20%22left%22%3A%200%2C%20%22sizes%22%3A%20%5B%221245x700%22%5D%7D%2C%20%229x16%22%3A%20%7B%22width%22%3A%201152%2C%20%22top%22%3A%200%2C%20%22height%22%3A%202048%2C%20%22left%22%3A%20192%2C%20%22sizes%22%3A%20%5B%22700x1245%22%5D%7D%2C%20%224x3%22%3A%20%7B%22width%22%3A%201536%2C%20%22top%22%3A%20447%2C%20%22height%22%3A%201153%2C%20%22left%22%3A%200%2C%20%22sizes%22%3A%20%5B%222000x1500%22%2C%20%221000x750%22%5D%7D%2C%20%22600x300%22%3A%20%7B%22width%22%3A%201536%2C%20%22top%22%3A%20640%2C%20%22height%22%3A%20768%2C%20%22left%22%3A%200%2C%20%22sizes%22%3A%20%5B%22600x300%22%5D%7D%2C%20%222x1%22%3A%20%7B%22width%22%3A%201536%2C%20%22top%22%3A%20640%2C%20%22height%22%3A%20768%2C%20%22left%22%3A%200%2C%20%22sizes%22%3A%20%5B%221200x600%22%2C%20%22600x300%22%5D%7D%7D%7D" dam=1 site_id=19547355 original_size="1536x2048" alt="Then, set your camera on \"shutter priority\". [You could also use \"manual\" mode, but this way, the camera automatically chooses your aperture setting for you.]" expand=1]

Then, set your camera on "shutter priority". [You could also use "manual" mode, but this way, the camera automatically chooses your aperture setting for you.]

Set it to a slow shutter speed. Choose something long enough to draw your whole picture! Usually somewhere between 3 and 10 seconds is long enough.

Set it to a slow shutter speed. Choose something long enough to draw your whole picture! Usually somewhere between 3 and 10 seconds is long enough.

But some cameras can go as long as 30 seconds, and even longer!

But some cameras can go as long as 30 seconds, and even longer!

Now shut the lights off...

Then focus on your subject, and press the button to take your photo!

Then focus on your subject, and press the button to take your photo!

During the exposure, draw your photo in the air with the "light stick". Keep in mind that if you are facing the camera, draw your image/words backwards so they show up forwards to the camera!

And voilá! Awesome painted-with-light images!

Get creative with it! Good luck! (Images from my Instagram account :) )

Get creative with it! Good luck! (Images from my Instagram account :) )

  • Camera with manual shutter speed
  • Tripod
  • Something to make light with
  • Ex: glowsticks, flashlight, sparklers, etc.
  • Location must be dark!!!