Tips on Capturing Successful Light Passes in Automotive Light Painting

There are several different ways to light your subject in photography. While light painting isn't a new or exclusive technique within automotive photography, it is a fundamental technique car photographers should understand how to use. If you are new to light painting or never used this technique to photograph a vehicle, you may have some questions on where to begin. 

Automotive Photographer Sincrow with Automotive Light Painting has put together a few videos with information covering the basics of shooting a vehicle using light painting which shows his approach and style. In the video, he shows how he performs each pass with a constant light source to paint in the details of the ride. What's left out in the video is the base image, which is a crucial step especially if you are just starting out, but it's listed on the site as the first step. Also listed on the site is each pass broken out into separate video clips with a brief description if that helps you better understand the process.

If you are interested in shooting some automotive light painting shots to add to your portfolio but have no idea where to start, this is a great start to begin. Even if you have experience shooting this technique with cars, you can see how Sincrow achieves his style in light painting with this video which breaks out each pass out for you. What are some good tips you have for light painting vehicles?

[via Automotive Light Painting]

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Michael B. Stuart's picture

I didn't even know this was a thing! Very cool.

Gabrielle Colton's picture

Me neither!! Have to try

Brett Turnage's picture

thanks for posting this. I have been studying light painting for the past few months for an article that I have been assigned, and this video will be come a great resource of the different techniques and results that I will employ for the shoot.

Shintaro Maeda's picture

Definitely a great way to light cars. Almost a must for black cars when strobes won't do.

Brandon Silvera's picture

Strobes will work if you bounce them off something white to capture the reflection in the paint. Best way to do it.

Shintaro Maeda's picture

Oh for sure. I've messed with bringing white bed sheets and trying to catch the reflection of the sheets in the paint with strobes. The only problem is it's not quick and I had to have two other people help me, which just made it not very practical. I like to work alone and on location. Light painting is just easier to manage for me personally.

Gabrielle Colton's picture

Super helpful!

Stephen Ironside's picture

What light was he using?

The Yongnuo YN300 II LED light. I have this and a few other lights, I plan on doing a comparison video since that is one of the most common questions.

Christian Berens's picture

great tutorial! I did 9 passes for my last one, this seems a bit better lol

Ralph Oechsle's picture

I also uses the Yonguno LED light. It is very great.
Here one of my lightpaintings.

gabe s's picture

If you hold a light above a car like that, please be insured.