Laser pens are an important part of your trick photography toolkit. Generally, they come in green, red, and an ultraviolet choice. The green laser pens tend to be the brightest. Of the three colors, the ultraviolet is the least useful, since some cameras have UV filtering.
While a typical pen creates a single point of light, you can also get a 6 in 1 laser pen on Ebay, or Amazon. This really cool light will allow you to project hundreds of points of light, and varying patterns, by twisting the cap. If you haven’t tried laser pens yet, here are a few ideas to get you started.
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Some Cool Laser Pen Light Painting Effects
1. Use your laser pen to trace around a subject. Once you have set up your camera and your subject, trace around the subject with the laser pen while the shutter on your camera is open. If you are using a green laser pen, you can expect to get very bright results. Depending on your exposure time, you will get a glowing aura around your subject in addition to the sharp outline caused by the actual light. The length of the exposure and the brightness of the pen determine the intensity of the aura.
2. Laser pens allow you to write on subjects or backgrounds as well. Writing or drawing designs can take some practice, but the results are worth it. Whether you choose to “scribble” over a subject, add “conversation bubbles” to a composition, or write on the wall, it can be a lot of fun and produce some unique photographs.
3. You can use a 6 in 1 laser pen to add patterns of static dots to a photograph. During the exposure time, aim your laser pen at different areas of the scene, and turn it on for a moment or two, then turn it off and do the same in another area of the picture. Since a 6 in 1 pen can produce a wide range of effects, you can really expand your trick photography with one.
Some Layering Tips For Light Paintings
For those with Adobe Photoshop, layering a series of light paintings will allow you to produce some very interesting trick photography and special effects. As with any layering, you will import the photos you want to work with into Photoshop. Once you have all the pictures together, you can use the “lighten” function to the first picture, then either apply the same function to the others individually, or right click on one, choose the “copy” function, and select all the remaining pictures by holding down the “shift” key and scrolling to the bottom of the list.
This will combine all the layers together for you. Once you have created the effect you desire, simply apply the “flatten image”, and save the result.
Laser pens are an inexpensive and fun tool for creating a wide variety of special effects. The tips listed here are just the beginning. If you don’t already have a few hanging around, you might want to buy one and see what you can create with it.