patterns of light
Lit up windows in zigzag motion

The other night I went up to my roof to take some photos of the city. I wanted to play with the concept of light on tall buildings to create some patterns and textures. Now, I have to be honest, I was never much of a photographer. When it comes to photography, I must have some sort of “trembling hands syndrome”, so that every time I want to take a photo my hands start to shake. The harder I try to stabilize them the worse it gets, and it sometime takes me a long time to produce a good, sharp, focused image.

Drawing with Light
Spread city view

As usual this time on the roof was no different, and while I had a certain image in mind the results my camera produced turned out much different. But taking a second look at my photos I realized they were actually better than what I intended and I unintentionally created some very unique patterns of light.

Drawing with Light
Building in long strokes
Photography tips
Shutters of the building accross the street

I cannot begin to tell you how liberating it was to find out that if I just let loose and not try so hard to be still, the photos would actually become more interesting. It felt like drawing with my camera, and as I moved it freely the images became much more alive and dynamic. I kept trying new motions just to see how the image would turn out each time.

how to draw with your camera
Tall building with colorful lights at the top

It was definitely a fun way to spur creativity. If you’re ever stuck on a project and feel the need to release a creative block – try going up to the roof with your camera and start drawing!

how to draw with your camera
Lit up windows in arched motion

A few tips for Drawing with Light:

  • Take photos at night.
  • Find a roof or someplace high, so you can get a broad view of your surroundings.
  • Try to find gatherings of light – like buildings, and lights in different colors – like in big signs.
  • Use long exposure on your camera, to allow yourself time to move around and “draw” while the shutter is open and the photograph is being taken.
  • Don’t try to focus on anything specific with your camera – it’s all about the movement.
  • While moving the camera, experiment with different motions of your hands, just like drawing: long brushes, short strokes, circular motion, spiral motion, zigzag etc.

Have fun!

Have any tips of your own for drawing with light? Come share them on the comments below!

Drawing with Light
Lit up windows in short motion
Drawing with Light
Drawing the moon!
patterns of light
Building in short strokes
Drawing with Light
Three red dots
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