Now you need a dark place, a tripod and a camera with a long shutter speed (most DSLRs and even point-and-shoot cameras have this). It’s also extremely helpful to have an assistant, either working the camera or the painter…it’s much faster working cooperatively than going back and forth to the camera to see what needs adjustment.

Before taking any photos, establish the center point and boundaries of the frame. Place some tape or other markers on the ground at the left, middle and right limits.

The default painting time is 2 seconds. Try setting the camera’s shutter speed to 4 seconds. As the shutter opens, call it out! The painter then starts walking left-to-right across the frame, pressing the “Go” button when they’re up to speed.

As you can see, photos have a lot more “pizazz” when you have a human subject or something else for scale. Foreground subjects can be illuminated with a camera flash or any modest light source…or even lit using the painter itself. As long as the person holding the rig keeps moving (or is out of the frame when a camera flash is triggered), they won’t show up in the resulting photographs.

You’re also not confined to that one flat plane…things really get interesting when you enter the third dimension! Multiple exposures can also be composited to create complex shots.

It’s helpful sometimes if the person holding the painter wears dark clothes and shoes. But even with lighter attire, as long as they keep moving, it won’t register in the frame.


Image is narrow and “squished.”

Use the “slower” button to increase the painting time (and select a longer shutter time on the camera if needed), or walk faster.

Image is wide and “stretched.”

Use the “faster” button to decrease the painting time (can select a shorter shutter time if desired), or walk slower.

Image is off-center.

Try again. Practice! Most shots take several attempts to get a really good one.

Image is too dark, or too bright (“blown out”).

Adjust the camera’s exposure setting independent of shutter time.

Image has some glitches and noise.

The SPI data rate needs to be slowed down. See the next page for code adjustments.

This guide was first published on Dec 11, 2015. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Photograph!) was last updated on Dec 10, 2015.

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