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How to create light paintings using the Nokia Lumia 1020

Posted: , by Nick T.

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How to create light paintings using the Nokia Lumia 1020
There was no shortage of demonstrations during the Nokia Lumia 1020 announcement, showing us what the smartphone's 41MP camera was capable of. (Watch the event here in case you've missed it.) And one of these demos included light painting – a form of art that has been growing in popularity over the past years. At a glance, it might seem difficult to create such drawings, but in reality, even a photography newbie can do it. All it takes is a few minutes of practice, a handheld light source, some basic knowledge as to how to set the camera's settings right, and a buddy to hold the camera for you, unless you have a tripod at hand.

So here's how you make light paintings using the Nokia Lumia 1020. First thing you need is a suitable location. The place must be really dark – a bedroom, or your back yard at night, for example. Then choose what you want to draw. It would be a good idea to pick something rather simple for your first shot, such as a basic shape. Feel free to use your phone's display as a light source. Set it to maximum brightness and open a bright image on its screen. Solid colors work best. A flashlight or a set of glowsticks will also do.

Now it is time to compose the shot. Ask your buddy to stand about 10 feet back and use the camera viewfinder to make sure you'll fit within the image. Without taking a photo, practice "drawing" your painting in mid-air without your light source leaving the frame.

Settings on the Nokia Pro Cam app suitable for light drawing

Settings on the Nokia Pro Cam app suitable for light drawing

After you're done practicing, use the Nokia Pro Cam app to set the camera's settings manually. You will need a long exposure so set it to 4 seconds. ISO of 400 or 800 should do. You can turn the camera flash on or off, depending on whether you want whoever's drawing to appear in the frame or not. Now press the shutter and let the drawing begin!

The length of the exposure time – 4 seconds in this case – is how long you have to draw your image. Note that the slower you move your light source, the brighter the stroke will be, and vice versa. Using a tripod isn't necessary, but it would help you achieve best results. Remember, feel free to experiment with multiple light sources of various colors! If your photo turns out too dark, increase the ISO, and turn it down in case the image is too bright. If you've followed our tutorial strictly, you should end up with something like the photo you see below.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is great for light painting

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is great for light painting

23 Comments
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posted on 28 Jul 2013, 22:22 1

2. BartSimpson (Posts: 8; Member since: 14 May 2013)


aye carumba

posted on 28 Jul 2013, 23:41 8

5. Jehovah (Posts: 65; Member since: 25 Jun 2013)


Cool...

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 00:03

6. gazmatic (Posts: 523; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


my phone is taking too long to arrive

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 05:11

15. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2993; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


When is it cum-ing? :P

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 01:36

9. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


some haters turned up again but luckilky they were banned:)
you don´t have anything worth listening to say, shut up.

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 01:38

10. james004 (Posts: 471; Member since: 15 May 2013)


Only if windows phone app store was not so terrible. Or if it was possible to run android on this phone.

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 03:55 1

12. theminolaboy (Posts: 128; Member since: 18 May 2013)


First of all, do you have a Windows Phone? Because if you do have a Windows Phone then you should know that using the word 'terrible' is an overreaction and a very unintelligent remark. And please, get over it. Nokia will never make an Android phone. They could have done that earlier if they want to.

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 07:04

20. james004 (Posts: 471; Member since: 15 May 2013)


i actually do, most app i use all the time are made by Microsoft themselves. only few other apps that are made by someone else are good enough to downloaded. gmaps and prometube are probably the only apps i use that is not made by microsoft.
so many things i used to do with android phone i havent done in ages since i got microsoft phone, i havent used dropbox, i have to be on browser to read articles not single good reader app. notification of facebook and twitter app comes after a day.
honestly i would never suggest windows phone to anyone.
its just this darn 1020 had to be a windows phone

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 03:08 3

11. samystic (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 Mar 2012)


is Troll kidnapped or something???

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 05:15 2

16. phil2n (Posts: 466; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


he was banned or maybe signal a drop from at&t

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 04:49

13. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2381; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Lovely...

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 05:05

14. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


troll eagerly wanted to join the discussion and get under our skin but obviously he was banned as soon as he had joined. Finally, the peace and good manners have come;)

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 05:18

17. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2993; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


He's under limitation, not banned. For some reason, i don't understand, PA never bans Troll. He's been limited for so many times but never banned. While some, before even they are under limitation, gets banned.

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 05:35

18. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


pa is pro-samsung the same way they were pro-apple once. he's doing them a favor

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 06:19

19. ryq24 (Posts: 470; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Does windows have candy crusher? Temple run 2? Does people take photos every hour? Nokia pureview may have a great camera but was a dud in the market! Windows phone will never catch up with android ! Maybe it's time to fire Steve Balmer and not Elop!

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 18:27

23. papss (unregistered)


Candy crush you mean? How about you act like a real gamer instead of your sissy Mobil games..

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 07:20

21. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


yes yes...old song...nothing will catch up android because android is the most magnificent platform in the world. Change the tape, pal.

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 11:39

22. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Great article!

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