Learn to light paint this dreamy sailboat photo entirely in-camera

Light painting is something we truly love here at DIYP. It’s also an ideal pastime now that travels and social activities are limited. Grab your camera, tripod, and lights – and you don’t have to leave your home to great magical, dreamy, even surreal scenes.

In this video, Jason D. Page has a great tutorial for you. He shows you how to create a dreamy sailboat scene entirely in-camera. The end results look like paintings, and in a way, they are: after all, they were painted with light.

It probably goes without saying that you’ll need a camera on a tripod for this image. For your canvas, you’ll need a white sheet; and what tools do we use for painting? Brushes, of course. Jason uses a flashlight and a variety of tools from Light Painting Brushes: different color fiber optics and screw on color filters. You’ll also need a cardboard cutout of a sailboat and a bunch of pillow stuffing.

Jason conveniently places the pillow stuffing on a music sheet stand so he could illuminate it from below. I guess that you could also use a glass table for this. When it comes to the sailboat cutout, you should attach it to the white sheet and you’ll light paint behind it.

As for the settings, Jason uses ISO 100 and f/8. The shutter speed is on Bulb mode, but Jason notes that it takes around 4-5 minutes of exposure for a shot like this. First, he focuses on the pillow stuffing and illuminates it from below. Then he moves the music stand away, focuses on the white sheet, and starts illuminating the sailboat from behind. He uses his color fiber optics in several color combinations, as well as a white light pen.

I just love watching Jason’s light painting tutorials. He shows his process in which you can just see him “randomly” waving with a bunch of lights. And then, he shares the results, and you see that nothing is random:

If you’re bored out of your mind, and even if you aren’t, I think that light painting is definitely something to try. Follow Jason’s tutorial for a step-by-step guide, and make sure to check out more of his work on his website, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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