Light Painting: The Evolution of a Project

We are having a great time with light painting projects.  Typically it’s shiny things that we get to do a light painting with but every so often we get to add a human element which I really like; it makes the final piece much more personal (like this one!).  This post is one that we are using to show you the main steps we take to finish a light painting project once we have the main element painted and put together.


Intrigued yet?

Occasionally we struggle with “What background do we use?”.  As much as we prefer to capture these projects with the final background already in place, sometimes it’s just not possible.  Luckily, we do have the freedom of finding great backgrounds to use when we are lacking in that perfect background to go with the subject so there’s certainly some “fixing” things in photoshop with light painting that we ultimately will do.

This project was a spur of the moment type of thing.  We were light painting a wonderful Stingray Corvette at it’s home when the owner asked if we could light paint his son’s Dodge Challenger as well. Since I had been eyeing it and thinking how fun it would be to have it as a subject, I wasn’t going to turn down the offer!  Below is a general idea of the set-up with very boring ho-hum lighting.


Once we had the light painting completed, it was an easy matter to search our stock of backgrounds and merge the background and the light painting together.


While proofing the finished piece with our client, we had a challenge presented to us.  “Is there any way to include something Kansas City in it?”  We loved the concept of including some city pride in the finished piece and with one of Jonathan’s skyline images from a time-lapse he had done, we had the perfect scene to bring in.  Now with a few broken windows in the warehouse, you have great peeks of the Western Auto sign, Union Station and the Kauffman Center of Performing Arts.  I’d say we met the challenge!