Have you ever seen light painting photography? It’s a really cool technique: you take a long-exposure photo by changing a camera’s shutter speed to about 15 seconds, turning off the lights and making designs in the air with a light. The camera records the movement and you get an awesome photo. We just did light painting for our final Make! program of the year and the kids got great results. It was an easy program that didn’t require much in the way of equipment or planning. We used our iPads (there’s an app for that…) and followed Bradley Jones’ directions here.
In the first session, we had ten kids in grades 4-5 for a 90 minute program. For the second session, we had nine kids in grades 6-7 for 75 minutes. Both groups picked the technique up quickly (and an hour would have been a better length for both sessions). We explained how light painting works, introduced the LongExpo Free app and gradually showed the kids how to execute harder concepts. Both groups did best with some structure, so we gave them challenges throughout the program, such as drawing a smiley face, making a Vitruvian man, and taking a photo with one kid hold a ball of light. We gave them flashlights, balloons to change the colors of the flashlights, glow sticks and wands that flashed different colors, and also showed them the Text Paint Pro Free app that lets you create the illusion of text floating in the air. They came up with some neat ideas. All of their pictures are posted on our Picasa account.