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Light Painting With Your Nikon Kit

Here's a quick guide to having a go at light painting with your Nikon equipment.

| Nikon 1 V3 in Digital Camera Operation
Light Painting With Your Nikon Kit: Spinsters Rock
Image by David Clapp

Light painting is a fun technique to have a go at when there isn't enough ambient light for your subject. 

If your camera has a bulb mode, (most modern Nikon DSLRs and mirrorless cameras such as the Nikon 1 V3 do) set to this. 

You'll need a tripod if you're going to have a go at this on your own, as the technique literally involves 'painting' the light onto the scene using a torch. 

It's ideal for use outside, for a different take on landscapes and architecture, and also in a dark room with still life subjects. 

Basically, the technique involves setting your shot up with the camera on a tripod, with everything in place. If you don't want to use bulb mode, you can use a long exposure, of 30 seconds or more, but you'll need to experiment with the time needed for the brightness of the light and how much light you want to show in the image. 

Press the shutter, and then due to the slow shutter speed, a person will be able to walk into the shot with the torch to paint the scene, without being seen in the final image. Hold the torchlight longer over the ares of the shot you want to be brighter. 

You can start off with smaller subjects, like still lifes on the kitchen table for example, to get an idea of how the techniques works. Once you become familiar with how long your torch needs to be held on the subject to get the desires effect, you can branch out. 

For larger scenes, it will be easier if you have someone to help you paint the light, and make sure that you don't linger too long in the shot when painting. If you like the technique, it might be worth investing in a brighter light that can paint from a larger distance, eliminating the need for you to step into the shot at all. 

It might take you a few attempts to get the right effect, and you may need to take several shots and stack the images, like the shot above. This image took 15 attempts to complete, but as you can see from the results, it was worth the effort! 

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Photographs taken using the Nikon 1 V3

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