Lighting a Product Photo by Light Painting with Your Phone in a Long Exposure …

March 17, 2015 - photo frame

Here’s a fun and really easy approach to do veteran product photography light portrayal regulating your iPhone, or any other phone or inscription for that matter. The bigger a shade a improved a results, though a customary phone shade will positively do a job.

This educational uses a light portrayal technique. Rather than a standard light portrayal technique where a light is used as a theme to pull out difference or elementary pictures; this technique uses light portrayal to light, highlight, and backlight a your subject. This will give we studio peculiarity veteran product photos estimable of any usage.

Light paining is a technique where prolonged exposures are used to constraint a motions of light via a generation of an exposure. Here are 3 examples of some effects combined by standard light portrayal technique.

Product Photography Light Painting

Start to finish this plan took me usually over an hour. Here are a few examples of a finished product with step by step instructions below.

Combining a red illuminated backdrop and white illuminated camera

Purple backlit with ambient purple light

Combining a purple illuminated beyond tone with a bottom illuminated white

What You’ll Need

  • A phone or tablet
  • A representation black room
  • A camera means of prolonged shiver speeds
  • Remote trigger or camera with self timer
  • A tripod
  • A theme (product) and a approach to mountain it still and stable

In this box my theme is a Canon G15 and a mountain is an additional tripod.

Step 1: Phone Soft Box

Go online and save or screenshot an design that is totally white in color. Even if we can’t fill a whole frame, save a design anyway. Go to your photos, wizz in on a design until it entirely fills a shade and afterwards screenshot it . Keep a full shade white design handy. This will act as a soothing box to light your product. Here are a tangible screenshots we used for holding these images.

Image taken regulating all white light with additional importance resplendent adult from a bottom to prominence lens ring

Step 2: Frame Your Shot

Make certain a lights are on, harmonise your shot regulating your viewfinder or LCD. Lock your tripod into place when we like what we see. Get it scold now and don’t strike your tripod or pierce your object, we won’t be means to see while shooting, usually after a bearing is complete.

Step 3: Go Manual

Even if this is your initial time – set your camera to 100% primer mode. That’s a large “M” on a dial. For some newer cameras such as a Panasonic LX100 and Leica D-Lux, this will meant avoiding a minute A (automatic) on any of a dials.


Set your ISO to 100. This will give a many transparent (noise-free) volume of fact probable for many cameras.


If we know how to control your abyss of margin and we know what orifice is compulsory for a demeanour we wish – use that. If we don’t know, set your Aperture to f/5.6 or f/8.

Shutter Speed

This is where you’re in control. Start during an 8 second shiver speed. This will expected review 8″ on your camera’s screen, not 0″8. Now it’s time to get started with your initial picture. As we progress, extend your shiver speed length to concede yourself some-more time to light your subject. You might find 30 seconds works great. If we need 30 seconds to get a demeanour we want, though it’s over exposed, try shortening a liughtness on your phone’s screen.

Step 4: Lights Out

100% dark is your best friend. Any light other than a one in your palm will simulate off your theme giving we reduction control over a final image. Get that design cued adult on your phone and strike a lights. Use your phone to see where your shiver symbol is or your recover cable. Make certain to have a camera on a self timer if regulating a tangible shiver button.

Step 5: Light Painting Technique

Hit a shiver symbol or recover wire and start lighting! Use a all white design on your phone first, be certain to keep your palm (for now) out of a shot. Aim a phone adult or down during a intent and arc it all around, formulating an even light to all manifest areas of a object. The some-more we gleam a light in one area a brighter it will be. Try some usually on a top, or solemnly pitch a phone around from a behind and stop usually as a light catches a corner of a subject.

Holding dungeon phone soothing box still usually above a camera and out of support produces a following result:

Creeping a white light solemnly brazen on both sides of a camera usually – after hovering a purple light from above, constructed a following result:

Now try swiping a phone in support behind a theme for an extraordinary backlight. You might have to do this 2 or 3 times to cover a whole background. Or we can try one side of a credentials for a 50/50 effect.

Get Creative

Once you’ve found a good shiver speed and have gotten used to a effects your light fluttering produces, try expanding to mixed colors in one exposure. Once we light an area with one color, fast mislay a phone out of view, appropriate to a subsequent tone in your photos, and start light paining with a new color.

It will take a few tries to switch between a colored credentials cinema on your phone proficiently. Take a demeanour during this prism outcome that can be achieved regulating a rainbow settlement hold immobile over a tip of a camera.

About a author: Jordan Lockhart is a photographer formed in Manhattan and a male behind CameraPlex, a website with camera news, tips, and articles. This essay creatively seemed here.

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