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How to paint with ice-skates | A Beginner’s Guide to Light-painting | We The Curious

How to paint with ice-skates | A Beginner’s Guide to Light-painting | We The Curious


Tonight I’m going to be painting in the
darkness of night. But this is no ordinary piece of art. I’m going to be using light as paint, using the air as a canvas, and an ice-skater as a brush! ‘Light-painting’ is a photographic technique which uses a source of light to draw an image in the air whilst taking a long-exposure photograph. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll show you
what you need to do to create your own light-paintings. First of all, you’ll need a DSLR camera which
has access to ‘manual’ settings, you need a tripod to keep your camera steady, and you need a source of
light. Whether it’s a torch, LEDs, or even the light on your smartphone camera.
So, our setting needs to be nice and dark. We only want to capture the light from our torches, so
try to avoid any light-pollution. Now it’s time to set-up the camera. Now this can have a lot of trial and errors, but it’s the experimentation that makes light-painting so much fun. So, we’re
going to give you a starting point and it’ll be up to you to fine-tune it to get the results
you want. Switch your camera to ‘manual’ mode – this
will allow you to adjust the settings you need. Setting your white balance to ‘daylight’
is a good starting point. You want to avoid using ‘auto’. To avoid accidentally shaking the camera, it’s a good idea to set the timer delay to give you a couple
of seconds to move your hands away after pressing the shutter. Now we need to choose our three main settings:
ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. The ISO determines how sensitive our camera
is to light. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive it is. We need a low ISO for light painting; about one or two-hundred. The aperture, or F-stop, controls the opening
in the lens. Set yours to about f/8 or f/10. This will allow in plenty of light whilst keeping your image nice and focussed. Finally, the shutter speed controls the how many seconds the shutter is open for. Let’s star with start with about 4 seconds. Now we’re going to press the shutter, get into position and paint with light! Not bad. It kinda does look like a conical flask. Why don’t you try an experiment with all these different settings? If it’s too bright, try shortening the shutter speed. If it’s too dark, try widening the aperture. In the 1940’s, Albanian photographer Gjon
Mili, attached small lights to the boots of ice skaters and he captured some of the most
famous light-painting images ever created. When Mili showed these images to Pablo Picasso
in 1949, he was immediately inspired. Grabbing a penlight, Picasso began drawing
in the air as Mili captured these images on his camera So we’re going to see if we can recreate Mili’s famous artwork, so we’ve come here to the At-Bristol
ice-rink with LEDs, plenty of tape, and an ice-skater! This is Lillie. We’ve attached LEDs to Lillie’s hands and feet. So I wonder what patterns our ice-skater can make in motion? If you enjoyed this video, hit the like button, share it around and click on Lillie to
subscribe. To learn how to photograph the stars, watch our beginners guide to astrophotography. And if we’ve inspired you to try light-painting at home, send us your photos on Facebook or
Twitter. Thanks for watching! I’ve got an overly-smiley mouth now.

7 comments

This was fantastic!! I will try and give this a go with my new camera – Absolutely brilliant work!! I somehow missed that this was a thing and think the art created by the ice-skater captured is incredible. Flippin' love a good mix of science and art!! Really nicely edited and cut together also 🙂

Thanks for this video! Need help, I want to know the type of the camera, if there's anyone who knows it? Thank you for the answer

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