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