Using Photography to Put an Awesome Twist on a Family Game

Using Photography to Put an Awesome Twist on a Family Game

The Fourth of July has come and gone here in the states and while most photographers spend that evening trying to capture the light of the explosions, I opted to give my family something fun to do after the shows. That turned into an awesome game. It went over so well that I pretty much have to share it with you.

The basic idea is to draw an image while your teammates try to guess what it is…but you’re going to use flashlights and long exposure photography instead of a pen and paper.

You split up into teams of however you want to set it up, we did two teams of three. The group can opt to either use a set of subject cards (ie: Animal, People, Action cards etc.), or you can let each artist choose their own thing to draw.

Before the game starts decide as a group if you will use a time limit. Since you will be working in the dark I recommend either a 30 second exposure, or bulb and expose until the artist is done drawing. Set your camera up on a tripod and make sure your exposure is set accurately for what your group decided. Each turn proceeds with one team member (in rotation) standing in front of the camera and using a flash light to draw their subject in the air while a member of the opposite team operates the camera.

Team members may guess as the artist is drawing, and for a short time after the drawing is complete before the image is revealed on camera. Once the image is shown on the camera’s LCD the team has 30 seconds to identify the subject and then the opposing team can steal.

Scoring is based on correct guesses. One point for a right answer and a bonus point if it’s guessed before the image is revealed on the camera.

Here are some of the images from our game:


The best part of it all is that you only really need one person that knows enough about the camera to do this. Once the camera is set and everyone understands what to, the process of drawing in the air is something anyone can do.

And the best best part? You get fun images too!

So yeah, since I’m claiming the glory of inventing this new take on a classic game I’m claiming some of the profit if I see this on the shelves. You’re welcome world. I love you gaming companies, but hook it up.

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Noam Galai's picture

This is awesome.

Mike Wilkinson's picture

On a summer night with friends or fam, this would be great.

David, I love the images and the idea... even though it has been around way before you created it :)

I have played this game with kids and teens while they have not been able to actually draw anything there is many other things that you can let them do to feel special and artistic.

You can see some bad examples here.

Was lighting off fireworks when I remembered how fun light painting is so I grabbed my camera, tripod, and some sparklers and made this with some friends while celebrating 4th of July

Jason Dream's picture

Yeah but... I didn't know a such photography have a place on fstoppers...
Anyway, Yes it's a great "game" with friends in summer night.

This is cool, but it is not new! Sparkler charades hash been played for a fe years and I doubt we invented it either. Example posted to your FB page.

Niels Veeneman's picture

like the last one

I'm sorry to disappoint you but this technique was discovered in 1889 from French photographer Georges Demeny and his first light painting photograph is "Pathological Walk From in Front". After him many others have experimented with this technique and one of them is the Albanian photographer and engineer Gjon Mili and his famous photography of 1949 is a portrait of Pablo Picasso creating the "distorted spatial centaur".
Anywise you did a very good work since it needs for a little practice to play with it - bud is fun - I know something, ;-).