Visions in the night

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 December, 2011, 12:00am


With camera and penlight at the ready, let your light-painting skills run wild on New Year's Eve. Feel free to scribble your New Year resolutions in the air or recreate these awesome images (left) without leaving a trace - well, other than on your memory card. Expert photographer Joyce Yung Ka-yee from Random Art Workshop explains how to get the perfect shot.

What you will need

A camera, preferably a DSLR, or any digital camera with manual control

Tripod (or simply fix the camera to a cupboard or post)

Penlight or other small torch


1 Choose places that are dark like a beach or park at night (avoid street lamps), or simply turn off the lights in your room.

2 Fix your camera on the tripod or put it on a stable, even surface.

3 Adjust the camera's aperture to between F/18 and F/22 to avoid overexposure.

4 Adjust the shutter speed to about 10 to 30 seconds, depending on the time you need to doodle in the air.

5 Adjust the ISO to 100 to reduce the noise in the picture.

6 If you are shooting yourself, set a timer.

7 Now it's time to switch the lights off if you're indoors.

8 Push the button and let your imagination run wild. To get the best shots, you might have to experiment a bit and adjust the settings according to the situation.


Do a mirror image of the picture you are drawing. For example, paint 'iH' for 'Hi'.

Turn the torch off to break a line.

Point the penlight towards the camera while you're drawing as if the camera is your canvas.

Try covering the penlight with coloured cellophane for a different effect.

As long as you wear dark clothing, you can move around the scene as if you were invisible.

If you want to capture yourself in the picture, use a flashlight.

Start light painting with shapes and experiment with the flash.