Creative! How to Light Paint with Your Drone

Light painting is a very interesting topic and in this tip, I will show you how you can paint with your drone.

What you gonna need?

  • Of course, a drone with some signal lights or you can equip it with some extra lights.
  • A camera with the ability to take long exposure shots. For my Pictures, I used a Sony A7s ii in Bulb Mode.
  • A remote control is recommended. If you operate direct on the camera, the picture will be shaky. For example, the Panasonic GH4 or the Sony A7s ii does have a smartphone app where you can control the camera remotely.

What is Bulb Mode?

Bulb mode allows you to take a long exposure picture as long as you want. You can use bulb mode by choosing manual mode, then start scrolling all the way to the end of the shutter speeds.  After the 30 or 60 seconds mark, it will show “bulb” or simply the letter “b” on some cameras.  Now you’re in bulb mode.  This means the camera will keep taking a picture until your finger comes off the shutter button.

Now we are ready to take some drone light painting pictures.

1.First try

First try
Aperture3.5    Shutter Speed50s    ISO100    TypeILCE-7SM2

At this picture, I simply flow some forms, nothing special. You can try it by yourself and you will be surprised what you get.

2.Spiral, up and down

Spiral, up and down
Aperture3.5    Shutter Speed47s    ISO100    TypeILCE-7SM2

At this picture, I used the left stick on the remote to turn the drone around and around. At the same time, the drone increased height after that I’ve reduced the height. In the end, I landed the drone.

The result was a picture that looks like a bonfire.​​

3.DJI logo written in the sky

DJI logo written in the sky
Aperture3.5    Shutter Speed335s    ISO100    TypeILCE-7SM2

For this picture, I used the App Litchi to create a flight path in the shape of the DJI logo. The only thing I did with Photoshop on this Picture is to delete the gaps between the letters d – j and j – i.

4. Spiral, the next level

Spiral, the next level
Aperture5.6    Shutter Speed19s    ISO500    TypeILCE-7SM2

At the end of 2016, I had the opportunity to buy some 1-meter sparklers at the supermarket. I equipped my Phantom 4 with two sparklers on both sides on the legs. I used cable ties to tighten them up. After I lit them I could create some amazing pictures. I made this shot the same way as I made the first Spiral but only ascending, not descending.

With these equipped sparklers, the Phantom flies differently and you have to be a good pilot, because if you are not a good pilot, you will risk damaging your drone.

5.Spiral, the final one

Spiral, the final one
Aperture5.6    Shutter Speed44s    ISO500    TypeILCE-7SM2

This is another version from the next level spiral, with up and down. Of course, this is all the beginning and I am sure it will follow much more!

Author:Jonas Hoffmann
Article From:SkyPixel