Posted by: ClassicTim | May 8, 2009

Experimental Photography: Urban Light Writing

I decided to start experimenting with light writing.  For those of you who don’t know, light writing is made possible through the use of long exposure on your camera and bright lights.  When you set your camera to a long exposure and then use lights to draw or write, the image becomes over-exposed in those areas and your drawing appears above what would normally be seen.  To give you a better idea, here are some of the pictures I have created.

Walsh Tim FP_001

Walsh Tim FP_002

Walsh Tim  FP_003

Walsh Tim FP_ 004

Walsh Tim FP_ 005

Walsh Tim FP_006

Walsh Tim FP_008Walsh Tim FP_009

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If you liked these pictures you may like to read my new How To post for lightwriting!


  1. Really into what your doing here and I am very interested to know roughly how long you would have been leaving your shutter open for ? Especially that top shot. Just love it. Any other pointers to get the best effect out of this technique ? The exposure settings were very useful and i’ve been coming up with some nice experiments but not getting the exact result I need.

  2. Typically my images took anywhere from 1-3minutes. The top image was pretty tricky. I found a street lamp that turned on and off in a repeating pattern. After figuring out what the pattern was, I stood in one place until the light turned off, drew the lights coming from my hands, changed sweatshirts, moved to the other side before the light turned back on, stood there while the light was on, and then drew the other half of the lights coming from my hands after the light had turned off again. It took about 4 minutes to make once I finally figured out how to do it. The single most useful thing was bright lights, the brighter they are the quicker you can draw your image and not have the background over expose on you

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