Each month, our staff decides on a theme to help us decide what projects and activities we want to offer to our visitors. Our November theme is “Time” and we’ve been messing around in the shop, brainstorming some fun, open-ended activities that emphasize the idea of time passing. We knew we wanted to do some light painting, so we started playing with our cameras, moving bright lights around in front of them to draw shapes in the air or on the table.
We set our camera to manual and played around for only a few minutes to get something decent. Our settings were: 5 seconds, 100 ISO and F-29. The “F-stop” (F-29) works like the iris of your eyes, letting a little bit of light in, or a lot. We let in only a little bit at a time, but for a long time — five seconds is a very long time for a camera, since regular photos are taken in only a fraction of a single second. The ISO number tells the camera how sensitive it should be to light. We set it as low as we could so that our little tiny moving light doesn’t blow out the picture and make everything bright white.