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1 Nov 2013

Doesn't the "Chee Cheong Fun" looks hot with the steam? Actually, the dish is not hot at all and the "hot steam" is created using light painting effects.

In my earlier post of light painting, I've tried painting alphabets using a laser pointer. This time round, I tried light painting on still life objects (such as bottles, bulbs, tea cups, etc.) with different light sources (e.g. laser pointer and torch light). It was really fun to see different results as I tried various light sources and position of the light sources.

(Please refer to my earlier post on the setup required and camera settings.)

The "Hot Steam" Effect

This is a simple "trick" by using a white rope (.. not thread as thread is too thin to reflect light) and a torch light. Simple hold a white rope dangling above the object (i.e. where the hot steam to appear) with one hand. One the same hand, also hold a torch light point downwards to the object.

When the shutter opens, simply start rotating the wrist of the hand that is holding on to the white rope and torch light. To achieve the right effect, the wrist should be rotating fast enough by pointing the light around the object circumference. The whole idea is to get the light to be reflected by the rotating and dangling rope which will create the "hot steam" effect.
I had tried with various intensity of light source and noticed that a lower intensity light source appears to work better in creating the "hot steam" effect.

The settings for my shots were ISO 100, F/13 and 20 secs exposure. I had spent the first 12 secs doing the wrist rotation with the white rope, and the remaining time just pointing and painting on the tea cup (or the chee cheong fun picture above) using my torch light (without the rope).

You can also try spinning a torch light above the tea cup to see how it appears.

Note: I did not invent this technique - I had seen this done by someone else in a YouTube video sometime back (let me see if I can find it later).

Nice Internal Reflection Within Lightbulb

I've tried the light bulb and it produces a nice reflection internal within the light bulb with it's shape. With the light bulb held standing upright, I simply run through my torch light around the circumferences of the light bulb to and fro.
Camera settings: ISO 100, F/20 and 15secs exposure.

Laser Pointer Works Well with Sticks

I've tried using laser pointer on the reed diffuser on my desk and it turns out great. The reed sticks appeared to be glowing from within.
Camera settings: ISO 100, F/20 and 30 secs exposure.

Reflective Surface Matters

I've used a reflective black surface for the background and table top while playing with laser pointers on one of my decoration/ornament. Because the decoration/ornament is also a reflective surface, the reflective background and table top further bends the reflected light causes it to look magically nice.
Camera settings: ISO 100, F/20 and 30 secs exposure.

Rotating Light Source

Try tying a small torch light and rotating it around the object (e.g. a bottle).

Moving Backlight Behind Object

Also try moving the torch light behind the object (e.g. a bottle).

There are simply too many ways on how light painting can be applied on the objects that you are painting. Each way produces different artistic results and mood of the picture. It is really fun to try out!

Please visit for more photos ...