Light painting photography: make spiral artwork in the dark

(Image credit: Future)

The uninitiated might assume light painting is simply post-production trickery, when, in reality, light painters are constantly pushing the envelope and redefining what can be achieved in camera. In fact, the light painting community is so inventive it can be a little difficult to know where to start, and that’s where this month’s project comes in. 

By suspending a tiny beam of light on a piece of string and setting it into a swinging motion, you can create incredible geometric patterns from the comfort of your own home. What makes this an ideal first light painting project is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Just one light source can create clean but complex trails of light, or you can experiment with using various colors and beams to form incredible deep-space-like masterpieces. 

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Dan Mold
Deputy Editor

Deputy Editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, Dan also brings his technical wizardry and editing skills to Digital Camera World. He has been writing about all aspects of photography for over 10 years, having previously served as technical writer and technical editor for Practical Photography magazine, as well as Photoshop editor on Digital Photo

Dan is an Adobe-certified Photoshop guru, making him officially a beast at post-processing – so he’s the perfect person to share tips and tricks both in-camera and in post. Able to shoot all genres, Dan provides news, techniques and tutorials on everything from portraits and landscapes to macro and wildlife, helping photographers get the most out of their cameras, lenses, filters, lighting, tripods, and, of course, editing software.