Lightpainting? Lightpainting.

I finally went out and tried my hand at lightpainting my car after planning to do it over a year ago. The result? Not perfect, but I think cool enough to make me want to try again.

The hardest part was actually finding a spot to try it that would provide both an interesting background and a place to wave a big light around without annoying people. I live in a small rural town, and with my wife due to give birth any day now I didn’t want to go too far away. I remembered the old train station/grain elevator on the edge of town and sure enough it worked out pretty well. After spending about an hour there I did have a guy walk up and and ask what I was doing right as I was getting in my car, but he didn’t seem bothered when I explained I was taking a few photos.


If I had a chance to clean the car better I’d probably have had even better luck too... I washed the car but then wasn’t able to get out of the house until the following night, at which point our NY salt splatter was already coming back again. Mostly I just wanted to test my new LED light wand (Amzdeal $50 ice light copy) and see if I could get results roughly like the other automotive light painting photos you see out there. Being mostly a film photographer and thinking of doing everything in one exposure, this was actually my first time stacking multiple layers in Photoshop. There’s definitely a lot that could be done with more time spent masking and playing around, and I know next time I want to pay closer attention to my exposure and white balance between the layers so the car doesn’t stick out of the background as much. Then again, maybe that’s what you want?

Anyone else try this before and have any thoughts or tips? I’m excited to try it out again sometime

The background layer: 28mm f3.5 iso 100 @ 30 seconds
The light layer: 28mm f16 iso 100 @ 30 seconds... this was my last attempt and the only one with the light wave behind the car

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