How to Use Light Painting In Product Photography

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Light painting is a fun and unique photography technique that will leaves you with some very artistic results. If you’re new to this style of photography, then it can take a bit of practice before getting high quality final photos.

The process involves using long exposure and handheld light sources to paint or draw with light around the subject. Here’s a few examples from my video tutorials and a list of lights I would recommend on how to correctly each good results with this technique.

1. Light Painting Equipment you Need:

Light painting tools can result in a variety of different styles, meaning that you can display a range of unique effects when capturing your product photography shots. There are a few inexpensive tools I have list below:

Photography Gear:

Lights:

2. Camera Settings:

First you need to set your camera to manual mode and also have your camera on a timer setting such as ‘2 seconds’ or use a remote shutter to avoid camera shake.

Good light painting is determined on a lot of factors, so adjust the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed based on the desired exposure and lighting conditions.

Start with a low ISO (such as 100 or 200) to minimize noise, a narrow aperture (such as f/8 or higher) for a larger depth of field, and a long shutter speed (several seconds or more) to capture the light painting.

Usually i don’t need much longer than 3 – 8 seconds. However it depends on the complexity of your photo.

💡 Tip: Before shooting try a practice run and count in your head, that will help determine the correct shutter speed length for you idea

3. The Process of Light Painting

You will need to turn off the room lights or shoot in a dark environment to have better control over the light painting effect.

Now have your product ready on a table or surface, press the shutter button and when the timer goes off start painting the light around the product using the handheld light sources.

It will be frustrating at times…😡 BUT if you keep repeating this you will improve quickly! Just experiment with different movements, shapes, and intensities to create interesting light trails or highlights on the product.

Behind the Scenes Video: How to Light Paint in Product Photography

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