Creative Challenge - Speedlite Painting


This week I was supposed to do something completely different that I will end up trying again for next week but since everyone had their plans changed we had to pivot the theme for this week and decided to try something else I have been dying to do. And that was ...

- speedlite Painting -

how it was done

So Speedlite Painting is very similar to standard light painting only instead of using a flashlight or any other constant light you light your subject using your Speedlite and setting it off with the "Pilot" button. 

Speedlite Painting is super fun but is also really challenging to get your photo looking just right. You start by turning all the lights off and then you run around your subject setting off your Speedlite to expose just the parts in your scene that you want to light. I fired my flash around  six to ten times to gets this shot. 

To set it up you have to place your camera on a tripod because it involves doing a long exposure. Change your camera settings to f/22 and lower your ISO to 100 or less. You want to limit as much ambient light as possible from entering your camera. 

Next, set your shutter speed to be open for as long as you can without getting any ambient light in your photo, just take a test photo and make sure the frame is completely black. For this photo I had my shutter opened for ten full seconds, this gave me just enough time to run around my subject and light her and the bed exactly where I wanted. 

Side Note: I added a grid to my Speedlite so that I could limit the space that would be exposed with every flash of light, not doing so would have created too broad of a light and lit more of the scene than I wanted. 

equipment used



what i would do differently

The main thing I would do differently is just practice this technique more. It's a lot of fun to do but where you aim your light and how much you choose to expose the image will cause completely different looks each time. I might also fix her necklace in this photo, it looks like it's defying gravity to me, but that's just cause I'm picky with details.  

what would you do differently?

If you love this photo or want to know more about how this was done just let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 


Article by: Gregory James Thelian