Behind The Scenes: Action Potential Long Exposure Using Your iPhone To Create Light Trails

Lately I have been trying to experiment more with my photography and find new ways to shoot! I've always been a fan of long exposure photography, but never really experimented with it! When I got these Action Potential cans from Cerebral, the first thought that popped into my head was long exposure. So when trying to think of a way to get the light trails to match the can. I resorted using my iPhone with a screen of colored circles on a black background. 

So getting into the nitty gritty details I'm shooting on a Sony A6000 with a Sony 28mm F/2 with my camera mounted on a tripod. I don't have the fanciest equipment and shoot on very budget friendly gear.


My lighting setup is very simple, using my flash going through two diffuser (The first one is a DIY one I made out of vellum and a foam board) and then a white foam board on the opposite side to reflect light back onto my subject.  Depending on the time of day or the room you're shooting in, you can use a black sheet about 5-6 feet behind your subject to get a fully black background, or you can simply just turn off all the lights in the room making sure there is nothing behind your subject to get a black background too.

This is probably my second time trying long exposure, so I just went ahead and winged it with the settings and adjusted them as I went until I found an easy-medium that worked well for me. The way long exposure works is that you're extending the amount of time that your shutter is open so that you have a brief period to drag your light trails behind your subject. Closing up your Aperture to be a little tighter will allow the right amount of light to enter the camera without over exposing your subject  and allowing your light trails to show.

Shutter Speed: 2.5"
ISO: 200
Aperture: F/5.6
Flash: Medium Setting

Since I was shooting with a flash, I put my flash on the medium setting to allow the right amount of light to expose my subject, but not over expose. If you're using continuous light you'll have to adjust your aperture and shutter speed to suite your needs. 

Once you have all your settings dialed in, use your iPhone with your dot pattern on it and wave it behind your subject to paint in your light trails. You can get endless results using this method. Wave your phone faster or slower, side to side, or back and forth. Have fun with it and you will get some amazing shots!

Make sure to tag me @beerbreathco & #beerbreathco on any pictures you take using this method, so that I can check them out!

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