Keep scrolling to see the gear and settings used for this shot.

Get a super creative look on a budget

The best thing about the gear in my studio starter kit post is that it can be utilized in many different ways. A second thing to do with that kit is light painting! I absolutely LOVE this technique. In fact, I am quite the sucker for any long exposure photography. I'm sure that will become apparent as I post more on here, but I digress. In order to stand out you have to think outside the box; the soft box that is. Puns aside, you can achieve a super cool look with this kit, your phone's flash and some color gels. The amazon link that I had originally found included these gels for free, I'm not sure if it is still true but you can purchase them separately with the link that I've provided for you. I will admit that there is a TON of tutorials to learn from on youtube. However, none of them use an off camera flash.


The longer we let our shutter drag the more dramatic the light streak will show, however, since the shutter is dragging it will catch any motion including any subtle movements from your model. If you try this without any off camera flash it is most certain that your model will not look very sharp. To battle this, I shot in the darkest setting I could find and I made sure that my camera's sensor was not able to pick up ANY ambient light. This is not an easy task considering that the sensor was being exposed for 2 seconds at a time. Essentially, I made sure my sensor could not pick up my model at all, and the flash basically stamped her into the frame. In doing so, I was able to achieve beautiful long strokes without sacrificing much sharpness on my model.

Anyway, I set up my backdrop stand very low so that my partner, Kim, could stand behind it covered by the backdrop. Since it is so low she is able to reach down behind the model and as long as she moved quickly, her arm would not be visible in the shot. This is why my model is sitting in both shots. I then set the camera on my tripod and composed my shot. Once I was happy with the composition I set up my light at 45 degrees to the left of my model and angled it down 45 degrees onto her. Again, I didn't have a light stand at this point of my journey so I held the light myself. Then, I used the Canon Camera Connect App to fire the shot while holding the light. Immediately when I heard the shutter I pressed the test flash button on my speedlight and Kim began to sporadically move her phone with the color gel behind our model. The result is what you see above, a really cool look in my opinion. Unfortunately this was the only time I experimented with light painting. It most definitely wont be my last time, though! I do have another long exposure shoot in mind that'll require some constant lighting so stay tuned for that!

What you'll need:


How to use it:

Ok, so above I explained how I got this effect without any light stands and with the help of my partner Kim. However, let me give you a run down on how easy it would be to achieve this on your own with a tripod and light stand.


So firstly set up your mini studio as shown in my diagram, just place your camera on a tripod and place your light on a light stand.


Secondly, compose your shot and pose your model.


Thirdly, connect to your camera via the canon connect app, or any other app depending on which camera you use.


Once this is all set and done just stand behind the backdrop and fire a shot with the app and immediately start moving the light around to paint in the effect!


Camera Settings:

Camera: Canon EOS M50

SS: 1/4

Aperture: f/11

ISO: 100

Light: Godox tt520ii

@ 1/8 power

More Examples

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