Light painting can be whimsical and fun, but also serious art. If Pablo Picasso could do it, then so can you. All you need is a camera capable of long exposures, anything in the range of a few seconds [and no, you don’t need a DSLR], say 1 to 30 seconds and a flashlight or colored LED light. The principle is simple: you open the camera’s shutter in the dark and use a small penlight to create a series of swirls and lines in the air. Because it’s dark, there is not enough light for the camera to record you walking around, but light from the penlight will always be recorded.
You can take the pictures outdoors, though you may want to practice indoors first with the lights out. It also helps to come up with your own unique doodle designs that you know how to lightpaint very well so that when you are outdoors, you’ll be able to nail the pictures without too many retries. When taking pictures outdoors, make sure it’s still dark enough so the camera does not record you walking around. If you need a really long shutter speed because your drawing is elaborate, then use a small aperture. As usual, practice makes perfect.
Your light painting can be as simple as a few doodles, as the light circles above — or as elaborate as dinosaurs.