- a sturdy tripod
- a camera with manual settings (I don't always use the same settings, but I rarely use a shutter speed faster than 3 seconds.)
- some sort of light source that you'll use to do your "painting".
Once you find where you want to do your shoot, take a couple of test shots to determine how much of your background you want to come through in your images. If the background is too bright, either increase the aperture or increase the shutter speed. I'd go with the aperture first. You're going to want a longer exposure to be able to have time to do your "painting".
Oh, it also helps to dress in dark colors so you don't show up in your images.
Once you've got your test shots done, set the timer on your camera to give you a few seconds to get into position, then start your painting.
Here are a few examples that I did a few nights ago with some friends using LED (hula) Hoops as the light sources.
In this image, there's not much background visible, so I had to open up the aperture a bit.
This is more of what I was going for with the background.
The possibilities are endless.
Special thanks go out to Taylor and Natasha for modeling and hooping.
The rest of the set can be seen and purchased here on my site; www.JohnShippeePhotography.com. Have you done any light painting? I'd like to see it. Leave me a comment with a link to your work or any tips you have that I didn't mention in this post.