Light Painting Outdoors is Really Amazing!

A long exposure is when you let the camera take a photo for a long time. This can take as long as 1/25 of a second to minutes! Long exposures create beautiful blurred motion. This is often used in outdoor landscape photography, particularly when water is involved. Although it’s extremely beautiful, it can be seen as overused. I’m not saying that being super popular is a bad thing. I’ve definitely used long exposures to shoot water. But I wanted to experiment with outdoor exposures and see what I could do with it. So, I decided to do some outdoor light painting!

Portrait Light Painting

portrait of girl with outdoor red and gold light painting around her

Girl in red dress with red and gold light swirling around her

silhouette of woman in front of golden light painting outdoors

Silhouette of woman in front of swirling golden light painting outdoors

I loved this session! It was heavily inspired by JanLeonardo’s work. He’s always playing with light and pushing the limits of photography.

I can’t believe how beautiful they turned out. It was challenging to take these photos. To capture the light movement outdoors, I had to have a long exposure — around 15 seconds long. This gave my helper enough time to paint light around the model. However, since it was a long exposure, my model had to hold really still so the photo wasn’t blurry. She was such a champ! These photos really wouldn’t have been the same without her.

Outdoor Architectural Light Painting

wooden bridge over stream light painting with blue sky island park idaho

Wooden bridge over stream light painting with blue sky

architecture photography light painting abandoned wooden house barn

architecture photography light painting abandoned wooden house barn

These two images are a little different than the portraits. For these two, I set up my camera on a tripod for a 20 second-long exposure. Then, I had some use a hold up a continuous light and light up certain areas of the abandoned house and the bridge.

Final thoughts on light painting photography

I had a lot of fun playing with long exposure and light. It makes me wonder what else it can be used for! Comment down below what you want to see me do next!