"Paint" your own Lightsaber

"Paint" your own Lightsaber

May the Fourth be with you!

What do you think this is a picture of? It could be a light painting created by Luke Skywalker, Yoda and Mace Windu.

"Light paintings" can be made with an object that emits light - such as a lightsaber, sparkler or flashlight - and the long-exposure setting on a camera.

Long exposure photography refers to taking a picture with the camera's shutter remaining open for a longer time letting more light in. This leads to a "light trace" of the illuminated object as it moves around. The slower the shutter speed, the more time you have to paint with your light-brush.

If you have a handheld camera, you can adjust the shutter speed in the settings. If you are taking pictures with a mobile device, there are many apps that you can use. Slow Camera is a free iOS app that offers slow shutter control. Android apps, such as Camera FV-5 Lite, allow you to control various camera settings, including shutter speed.

If these three Jedi were swinging their sabers through the air while the camera's shutter was kept open, the light coming from them would act like a paintbrush.

What kind of art can you make with light? Experiment with different colors of light and length of exposure.

(Bonus points if you know which colors were painted by which Jedi!)