Tabletop Light Painting

Tabletop light painting is a photography technique that photographers use to illuminate certain parts of a scene and create a unique form of light and shadows. Tabletop light painting is accomplished by using a longer shutter speed in a dark room and “painting” with a flashlight to reveal your subject.

Tabletop light painting does not sound too difficult, but I was quite surprised at how complicated it was. Focusing my camera, painting just the right amount of light, as well as stying the scene in the dark were only some of the challenges of tabletop light painting.

Tabletop-Light-painting

Tabletop-Light-painting

While tabletop light painting can be difficult and frustrating at times, one of the most fun things about it is that you never know how an image is going to turn out until the shutter closes! It is a surprise every time.

Tabletop-Light-painting

Tabletop-Light-painting

Tabletop-Light-painting

Here are my top tips for tabletop light painting:

  1. Always use a tripod. There really isn’t a way to do it without one.
  2. Focus your lens and then switch it to manual before pressing the shutter.
  3. Start with the baseline settings and then adjust accordingly:  ISO 100, f/9, 30″
  4. Don’t give up! It is difficult at first, but it is really fun once you start to get the hang of it.

Dave Black is a master of light and has been light painting for many years.

Still Life Light Painting