Shooting Challenge: 8 Light-Painting Shots

Long exposure photography ain't easy — especially when you're trying to capture the art of light painting. This week's shooting challenge has turned up some brilliant results involving abandoned warehouses, rocket launchers and plenty of geek references. Check 'em all out below.

Stephen Cuff

Took the photo with a Nikon D3100 on 30-second shutter speed and had fun with a party sparkler. I really wanted to capture this monument of a spring (located in Launceston, Tasmania) and make it feel like it is coming alive with the action of the sparks. I also managed to make myself look like a fool, running around by myself with a sparkler, trying to climb up the object whilst not letting myself catch on fire.

Joshua McFarlane

Model: Canon EOS 550D ISO: 3200 Exposure: 2.0 sec Aperture: 4.5 Focal Length: 18mm

After explaining the concept to my friend Anthony for a few minutes and telling him he could draw whatever shape he wanted in the air he decided on the letter 'A'. We tried lower case 'a' for a while but it just looked like a circle so we gave up. I had never tried this sort of thing having only had this DSLR for about a week and it being my first.

Scott Kenny

Camera Body: Canon 5D MKII Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM f-Stop: f4 Exposure: 30 Seconds ISO 100 Focal Length: 55mm

I have been wanting to do try light painting for a while and figured I would finally give it try for this challenge. I took my camera and an LED light out to my drive way and played around just making shapes. When several cars drove past, I said to my girlfriend that I am sure to them I look like an idiot dancing around waving a torch. She responded that I should yell out that it's for art. I then thought that it would be a good thing to write in light and here it is, nothing fancy but it was my first time light painting.

Chris Staring

This shot was taken in the abandoned warehouse close to my house. We have explored it a few times, but my housemate just bought a $200 spotlight so we decided to take it for a spin the other night. This is one of the resulting shots. We took it using ony a 2.5 second exposure time, and my housemate ran up the stairs as fast as he could while pointing the light at the ground as the light is so strong it would wash out the walls if actually pointed at anything.

Canon 60D + EF-S18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. ISO - 100 Shutter Speed - 2.5 sec.

Alex Chin

Camera Make: Nikon Corp Camera Model: Nikon D90 F-stop: f/4 Exposure: 124.6sec ISO: ISO-400 Focal Length: 18mm Max Aperture: 3.6 35mm Focal Length: 27

This photo was taken at roughly 10.30 at night. The photo was taken by thinking of doing light painting to create a Tron like version of my car. It eventually led to shooting a rocket at my car. The Tron theme didn't really work out in the end as we were lacking blue LEDs. A friend of mine was using manual exposure on the question while I (character in red) was being traced by another friend with a headlamp. The rocket launcher that is featured in the photo is actually me holding a telescope that was half the length of the drawn one. It took some planning to draw half of the telescope, move it forward to simulate the length of a rocket launcher. The rocket was drawn by the tracer and I used my hands in a sort of triangular shape to set where the fins of the rocket would be.

The car was just simply traced with a white one-lumen LED, a black light for the stripe and to light up the windows, I walked behind it with a 200 lumen Surefire torch, this took some trial and error to try and not blind the lens. I also had to fog up the windows to create the blurry effect of the light rather than just a clear torch behind the window.

Sorry if that was a long story. This photo experiment was just so much fun!

Harley Hamer

Shot with a Canon 40D 30 second exposure with a f/8 ISO of 320 and a 24-70MM Canon Lens

It was about 2am on Saturday, and myself and a few mates had decided to crash at a friends after a big night out.

My friend had been obsessed with painting with light for a while, pestering me all the time to try it out because I was the one he looked to when it came to taking photos. That night I had been shooting at the party, so I had all my gear with me. He cornered me, and in my state, no excuses came to mind.

In our drunken slur, we decided to give it a shot.

I set up the camera on a tripod, and got him to stand in the middle of the frame whilst holding a LED light which I became my focal point in the dark of the night.

Disregarding any type of safety, we stuffed a whole bunch of steel wool into a whisk, tied a shoelace to the whisk and then lit the wool. To my surprise, it actually starting catching alight! I ran back to the camera to press the shutter, and as soon as I clicked, my friend yelled "What do I do with it?!" I was shocked. With the seconds counting down, I yelled back "Just spin it around your head!"

And this was the result.

Sam Dussin

It was deceivingly cold the night I decided to take this — but it was way too much fun to care!

Taken using some sparklers and a lot of running, jumping, twirling and spinning. Canon 550D kit lens - ISO250. f/6.3 with a five-second exposure time.

Esther Tetris

We stumbled upon this scene of Space Invaders invading this alleyway off Lonsdale St at 5am. These pixelated creatures were messing up the milkcrates that were on their path.

Equipments: Canon 5DMark2, 24-70mm f/2.8L, 580EX II, remote trigger, Manfrotto tripod, stencils, green laser.

Settings: 197 seconds at f/9.0 ISO160

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