Create light graffiti! Find a dark space and use a light source to create a drawing with your camera.

Resource by Lynn Weddle.


Step 1: You will need...

  • Dark space
  • Camera with shutter speed control
  • Tripod
  • Cable release (or a friend to help)

Step 2: More things...

Gather a variety of light sources. You can use any light source to draw with:

  • Flashlights
  • Coloured LEDs
  • Lasers
  • Finger torches
  • Glow sticks
  • Smartphone

Step 3: Arrange your space

Create a dark space. It could be a room indoors or shoot outdoors at night. The darker your space, the better the image. Be careful in the dark – look out for trip hazards!

Step 4: Adjust your settings

Set your camera for long exposure. Use Manual setting and select a shutter speed of between 5-30 seconds and set your aperture to it’s widest setting (f2 or f2.8 for example) and your ISO to it’s lowest setting.

Step 5: Set up your camera

Mount your camera on a tripod. If you don’t have one, just place the camera on a surface to keep it steady.

Step 6: Draw with light!

Using your light source, draw shapes in front of the camera to test it. Try adjusting your exposure setting and shutter speed. Use a cable release if you have one or a friend could press the shutter button.

Step 7: Develop your ideas

Experiment with different styles of drawing. What happens if you include people and objects?

Step 8: Experiment with camera settings

Play with exposure time until you know which time suits your space best. You can shoot from just a few seconds or many hours! A longer exposure time will mean more time for detail.

Step 9: Try different light sources

Different lights create different effects, and the slower you move your light source, the sharper the lines. Try drawing around an object or yourself.


Share your photos with us! Send us your photos by email or DM us on instagram @photoworks_uk and add the hashtag #lightgraffiti

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