Here'll you'll learn how to set up and create a Light Painting activation.  With Light Painting, you can use the Webcam and DSLR in a very dark room or enclosure and "paint" streaks of light with a flash light or LED wands.  Follow along below to learn how to create a light painting image!

Please Note:  Your DSLR camera should still be set to M for Manual on the body of the camera. Furthermore a DSLR and Webcam MUST work together for light painting. The DSLR is taking the photo and capturing the light, while the webcam is providing a live view so you can see what you're doing.


Launch PBU and select S to open the Settings. Select the Light Painting tab.


Under Light Paint Mode, click Enabled.


Select the Camera Settings tab (on the light painting page) and select the Webcam tab to adjust the webcam settings to your preferences. With webcam selected, specific webcam options will appear that will allow you to adjust the Light Sensitivity, Flash Sensitivity and Flash Delay.

Think of light painting as two separate long exposures: The DSLR long exposure (which is the final image), and the webcam log exposure (which only provides the live view). The webcam long exposure/live view has two different sensitivities: Flash Sensitivity and Light Sensitivity. Flash Sensitivity lowers the brightness of the webcam during the flash, and Light Sensitivity increases the brightness so you can see the light streaks being painted. The webcam will switch from Flash Sensitivity to Light Sensitivity at the point set in Flash Delay. If you're getting really bright screens while light painting, the flash is likely being captured during Light Sensitivity, and you should increase your Flash Delay.


Select the DSLR tab and adjust the DSLR to your preferences. Generally you can set TV to Bulb, AV to 8, and ISO to 100 in many instances.


Make sure both the webcam and DSLR have the same composition and are cropped at the same point on all sides. You can use the Crop % tool and refer to the Webcam and DSLR preview's on the right side to calibrate your previews more accurately.


Click Preview Images tab to begin testing your Light Painting activation. Then click Start at the top. This will begin a light painting photo. The flash will fire, and you'll be able to use your light tool too begin testing the look. When you're finish, click Done (where Start was) to finish the exposure.


Refer to the Webcam and DSLR previews to perfect the look of the light paint and make the proper adjustments. For example, if the live view is too dark, try increasing the light sensitivity in Webcam settings. Every setup is different so it may take some trial and errors. When you have achieved your desired look, click OK at the bottom of the screen and prepare for light painting!

Suggested Hardware + Equipment

Here we have links to some of the hardware and equipment we use to create the ultimate look.

To assist in creating a dark space, we recommend using a black tent similar to the one found HERE.

To create strong and vivid colors, we recommend using our custom light wand HERE. This wand is smaller than other similar LED wands, easier to operate, and is easier to create incredible light streaks. However, any bright light source will work. Have fun and experiment with lights to see what cool light painting creations you can achieve!

Light Paint Without A Tent

Sometimes tents are just too big to use in the space allotted for light painting. If that's the case, check out our video below on tips to have a successful light paint, without a tent!


If you do not have a tent available or do not wish to use one, you can adjust the back end settings in PBU. The camera settings can be adjusted to compensate for any low light or dark lit environments. The brighter the room, the lower the ISO and the higher the aperture (AV). 


Below are some tips and tricks for achieving some cool light painting patterns and managing the light painting experience for you and your guests:

Pro Tip: Light Painting Experience from Photo Party Upload on Vimeo.

Kaia and Fernando teach you how to deal with guests new to the Light Painting experience!

Pro Tip: Light Painting Vol II from Photo Party Upload on Vimeo.

Fernando and Kaia reveal some tricks of the Light Painting trade.

Pro Tip: Light Painting Vol III from Photo Party Upload on Vimeo.

More Light Painting techniques from Kaia and Fernando!

Pro Tip: Light Painting Vol. IV from Photo Party Upload on Vimeo.

Kaia and Fernando close their epic 4 part saga illuminating the wide world of Light Painting techniques.


Congratulations! You are now a painter in the wonderful world of light painting and colors!