All you need is a torch and your camera to bring urban locations alive
Light sculptures are a great way to have some fun with your creative side. This guide will give you our ten top tips for making sculptures from a torch and your camera, but whatever you do, don’t forget to turn the torch off before you go back to turn off the long exposure!
1. Create depth
Large concrete structures such as flyovers and bridges add enormous depth to locations. Find yourself a spot underneath a motorway bridge, compose low down and take advantage of the leading lines.
2. Watch backgrounds
Sometimes the perfect location can be ruined by unavoidable bright streetlights in the background. Compose and frame your shot so natural objects help block or reduce unwanted flare.
For maximum impact make your light sculptures interact with the environment. Create figures walking up steps while holding hand rails. Have them leaning on street furniture, or sitting on benches.
Take advantage of puddles and reflective surfaces to capture your light sculptures. Reflections will add another dimension to the sculpture and remove any doubt that your image has been created on a computer.
5. Abandoned places
Fill empty and derelict buildings with life by painting human shapes into the environment. Choose rooms that were once likely filled with people to add a presence to these ghostly environments.
6. Avoid glare
Super-bright bulbs or high-powered torches will cause unwanted glare if pointed directly towards the lens for any amount of time. For the best effect use small standard LED torches.
7. Street furniture
Transform street furniture, or any other weird and wonderful high objects by creating a perfect light waterfall by making streams of light pour out of the structure.
Free from light pollution, graveyards are fantastic for light sculptures. Create ghosts and shoot under a full moon to get spine-tingling results.
9. Subways and Tunnels
Fill tunnels with webs of light and creative trails. Imagine bouncing a rubber ball inside it and map out its path with your torch as it ricochets off the ceilings and walls.
10. Turn it off
Before you return to the camera to finish the exposure remember to switch off your torch. If you don’t you‘ll ruin all your hard work by exposing unwanted trails of light as you walk back.