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Exploring the synergy between light painting and 360 photography

Exploring the synergy between light painting and 360 photography
Exploring the synergy between light painting and 360 photography

Photographers are discovering how light painting can become even more fascinating with 360 photography.   Because 360 photos can be viewed as a spherical image on a smartphone or VR headset, the light painting can surround the viewer.

“The painting can be done all around the camera, also above, etc. And if you project it as tiny planet or rabbit hole, there are even more possibilities for new paintings … Or imagine a painting done by a drone, where you later are surrounded by a lightpainting all over you or around you in the sky,” says Andreas Tichon.

One such light painter is Mafu Fuma, who has been making light paintings using conventional digital cameras but has begun creating 360 light paintings as well.  Here are mesmerizing examples of his work (click for 360 version):

For these light paintings, Mafu used a Ricoh Theta S (around $350) with a 30-second exposure.  The Theta S is also capable of 60-second exposures, and has a minimum ISO of 100.  Here are some other cameras that can also take long exposures:
– The more affordable Ricoh Theta SC ($199) — up to 60 seconds; minimum ISO: 100.
Xiaomi Mijia Mi Sphere (around $270) — up to 32 seconds, minimum ISO: 50.
Insta360 Pro ($3,499) – up to 60 seconds, minimum ISO: 100.

In the meantime, for more samples of 360 light painting and meet other 360 light painters, check out these groups on Facebook:
360 Light Painting Worldwide
360 Light Painting