How to draw light: equipment and techniques for freeze light, tips

How to draw light: equipment and techniques for freezelight, tips.

Many photographers and young photographers are thinking about how to draw with light. From the moment of getting acquainted with the lighting, this photography technique has become one of my favorites. At first everything was limited to pampering with writing names, words or drawing patterns and curlicues, but eventually came the realization of how I can use it in my professional work. Of course, you can achieve the best results in drawing with light in photos only by trial and error, however, there are several basic points, knowledge of which will make it easier for you to master this technique. This article will focus on basic techniques, tips, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of drawing with light.


The main equipment that you need to master the technique of lighting is simple and affordable:

  • A camera with manual exposure (a prerequisite because you will shoot at long exposures);
  • Tripod – to stabilize the camera for the same reason as above
  • Remote control camera or trigger cable
  • any flashlight you have.

How to draw with light: equipment for freezelight

How to draw with light: preparing for shooting

Most often, the preparation for filming begins with the installation of the camera on a tripod.

Usually I shoot in an absolutely dark room, where there is an opportunity to draw with light (about this a little later), so before turning off the light, I focus the camera on the subject, and then switch to manual focus mode. This allows me to prevent camera attempts to focus when shooting in the dark, and thereby knock down the adjusted focus.

How to draw with light: equipment for freezing

The first thing that you should pay attention to, if you want to get high-quality images with the lighting – a complete lack of natural or artificial light. Even the smallest scattered light can illuminate your hand or flashlight and spoil the photo.

How to do this?

How to draw with light: equipment for freezing

I propose to study the freeze-sheet at specific stages, which will include the described principles. So:

1. Mode Selection. For professionals I recommend manual, for less experienced – the priority of exposure (S or Tv). Set this parameter to a value of 2 seconds. If you just practice, then put about 5 seconds – the optimal time to have time to make a pretty pattern. The more complex the pattern, the more time it will take.

2. Aperture. Mode S will independently determine f, but if you ventured to shoot in manual mode, then the aperture will be 8 or higher. A closed aperture will increase the FIR and will include all objects in the visibility zone.

3. ISO. Light sensitivity make a minimum of 100-200, so that there is no noise.

4. White Balance. Surely you will use a certain light, and maybe several types with different colors. To ensure that they are adequately displayed on the photo, color rendering can not be left on the car. Better set the values ​​themselves according to the Kelvin, or at least select “incandescent” and other suitable options.

5. Location. Before the process of photographing and drawing, you must clearly identify the point where the camera will be located, and arrange the composition.

6. Tripod. After defining the settings, set the camera to tripod. Fix it. If available, use the remote control (remote control).

7. Focusis an important and at the same time complex parameter. For the necessary elements to be clear, they must be in focus. In the dark, adjust the focus is extremely difficult, autofocusing will help you a little. Therefore, it is better to use manual focus.
How to draw with light: equipment for freezing light drawing

What are modern photographers used for freezelight?

The simplest, and therefore widely used candles and flashlights. Are convenient for drawing optical pointers and even children’s light swords. More advanced photographers in the drawing of free photography have adapted in their work cuts duralight 12 V and LED tape.

Duralightis a great tool for freezes. Incredibly low cost, an unusually wide palette of colors and shades of duralight opens boundless horizons for creativity to create colorful paintings.

Photographers with pleasure use red, blue, white, yellow, green duralight. Or even several colors combine at the same time in their paintings, which undoubtedly makes the creativity more diverse.

An important component of the success of duralight, as a drawing tool – a large number of light sources. If only a flashlight is used, then the light loop from it looks like a single line, while in the duralight there are 36 LEDs per running meter! This allows you to create a volume freezelight, convex in space.

How to draw with light: equipment for freezelight

LEDs and freezelight

How to draw with light: equipment for freezelight
These are the most affordable light sources. The simplest – LED lights can easily be found in stores selling household goods and specialized stores for fishermen and hunters. In its structure, such a lantern gives a thin, precise line, the brightness of which depends on the power of the LED.
How to draw with light: equipment for freezelight
The number of LEDs in the flashlight affects not only the brightness of the line, but also its structure. In the illustration above, a flashlight, which we call a “rod.” Due to several rows of LEDs, the flashlight leaves a trace on the figure in the form of a tape consisting of several parallel lines. By the way, a similar rod is very convenient not only for its form factor, but also for charging with a charger like a mobile phone.
LEDs for Freeze

LED Ribbon and Frislite

LED strip for freezelight
LED strip – gives a little more freedom, but requires a full understanding of the drawing path. Even improvising, after a certain number of takes, there is a possibility that you will get a drawing that will warm your sense of beauty with your frislite arts. However, to get a meaningful picture, you will have to train the LED tape for a long time. We succeeded and once got the opportunity to paint in a sleeping trolley bus – we created these kind of curious characters.
LED strip for freezelight
It’s worth mentioning that in order to get the LED ribbon in your set of tools, it’s not enough to just buy it. It is necessary to have elementary technical skills or friendly support of those who have these skills. The LED strip should be connected to an elementary power supply and add a button to this design, with which you could control on-off. As for the location of both tapes and spare parts for such technical creativity, then you have to go to the nearest radioelectronic market or to a store selling such goods.

Having tamed the LED ribbon you will be ready to move to a new stage. For example, assembling an LED pole. This topic, with all the technical details and schemes, we will devote a separate lesson. Six looses the flexibility of the LED strip, but takes on a special scope.

LED strip for freezelight
With the help of one colored pole or set of several you can create similar abstractions. However, such freezelight art will require from you not so much emancipation as self-control. To work in complete darkness, holding a LED pole in the hands, which is usually based on a duralumin tube or a bamboo stick, is not safe for the objects around you, people and, of course, the instrument and the person holding it in your hands. Therefore, before creating a light pattern, you will need to rehearse every movement, like the training of samurai 🙂
LED strip for freezelight
The larger the set of your instruments, the more tempting to use them together in one frame. Combining the light sources, consider their structure and do not forget to create sketches on paper, this will allow you to control the composition of the frame.

No lantern manufacturer ever thought that his products would be used for drawing, and not for lighting, for which everything was conceived. That’s why, along with frizlayt experience, you will understand the design flaws of light sources and you will want to create them yourself. That’s the easiest way to get the right brightness, color and structure. The first step to this may be vandalism in its lightest form, that is, the correction of some lanterns. For example, removing the spring from the “on / off” button. This will allow you to forget about fixing the button after clicking on it. That is, the source will light up when you press the button and go out when you release the button. It is worth noting that such manipulations work out with about 70 percent of flashlights. In other cases, you run the risk of either breaking the button altogether, or getting bored and never getting to the button stuffing. In any case such scientific and cognitive disassembly is not enough, but they will increase your technical literacy 🙂

Based on a single LED and several electronic parts, we have designed a freezelight marker, a flashlight that can shine in 1024 shades. If you read this article immediately after publication, then you will have to wait a little. We will publish a lesson on assembling such a tool, but it will be possible to cope with it only if you are technically shod or there is someone in your environment who can help you with this task.

This is an example of technical freezelight rather than creative. To create this image, a tool was created that looks similar to the rod described above, but with electronic brains, on our command this flashlight, according to the running line principle, blinks the diodes available to it and automatically draws words, symbols, in the way of its movement In general everything you teach him / program.

And now, in order to remove the tension from the most impressionable ones and just to put an end to the article about LED light sources – a few illustrations-examples, one that can be drawn, having in the arsenal some of the above mentioned light sources.


Our personal advice. Do not pursue the technical component. Get yourself in the forefront of experience, that is, draw more often. The presence of this or that tool will not improve your images significantly. Otherwise, you will get a new light pattern for you, but you will not understand what to do with it.

bender drawed with freezelight

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