The Light of the One Trick Pony


Basically this is the one trick that I am really good at: I go to crappy stores, buy crappy light-up toys, set up my thrift store tripod, roll out the long cable release, and get the B setting to work it!

Okay, so what you need to do this is a long cable release, a tripod, and a camera with a good B setting (or if you are lucky you can use your Lomo LC-A as that is pretty much the best camera for this trick). The gallery here shows some of my crappy toys, my set-up process, and some of the results from various cameras including the Lomo LC-A, Diana Mini, Yashica FX-3 and GSN electro and the Praktica LB2. So take yourself down to the junk store and buy out every crappy lightup toy that you can find, fiber-optics and LED toys are some of the best!

What you should do is to just post yourself up against a white wall or maybe in a bathroom with many mirrors and get ready for the fun. So tripod your cam and roll the cable release your way. The plain wall or mirror is a good thing for the shot because it makes the light waves kinda pop out as well as being a place for you to lean against. So once you are ready and focused up and ready you turn off all the lights and grab a light toy. Once the shutter is open keep yourself stable against the wall and try not to move your face at all. Slowly rub the light toy against your face or body or in the air around your head until the shutter closes or you close it. Usually in a really dark room depending on the camera lens you may have to keep the shutter open for 45-90 seconds, usually any less is too dark and anymore is too washed out. Each and every toy will give a different effect and you never really know until you try. Keeping the toys stable can be cool but usually the true magic happens in the movement. Also for some reason I like to put on some crazy ass costumes for pix like these but that is just because I have a crazy ass.

written by kylethefrench on 2009-11-11 #gear #tutorials #cable-release #long-exposure #toys #tipster #portraits #b-setting #lca #diana-mini


  1. majorted
    majorted ·

    Ive been waiting for the explanation of this trick; very cool, very inventive. The fact that you use cheap plastic toys to create art really sticks to the Lomo doctrine. Very very nice job!

  2. cyan-shine
    cyan-shine ·

    U r0xX0r ! :D

  3. life_on_mars
    life_on_mars ·

    crazy ass

  4. dogma
    dogma ·

    Well done!

  5. lupo
    lupo ·

    sexy !! i just love it :P

  6. tommynorth
    tommynorth ·

    very cool shots

  7. hansie14
    hansie14 ·

    This is super cool. You are the king of the lightpainting!

  8. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·


  9. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Wonderful!! This should be "Tip of the Year"!!

  10. breakphreak
    breakphreak ·

    yet another fantastic technicolor dreamcoat :)

  11. stouf
    stouf ·

    Ho my boy ! The secrets of the light painting god ! Thanks for that ! And it's true, you are a sexy beast !

  12. stouf
    stouf ·

    And the first one is just hilarious ! 8DDDDDD

  13. ipdegirl
    ipdegirl ·

    Fantastic gallery! Thanks for the explanation--now THAT'S how to play with toys!

  14. makeyuu
    makeyuu ·

    egg milk and flour pancake power

  15. chrystani
    chrystani ·

    You are nuts. Love these pics. Off to the 99 cents store.

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