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Laser light painting includes camera control

This laser light painting setup can even control the camera. But it probably will not work with your average point-and-shoot. The exposure time used is somewhere around 2 seconds long, a feature which is hard to find on anything but DSLR cameras.

The setup relies on a red laser diode to do the painting. When viewed in real time you only see a dot tracing out a cryptic pattern and occasionally switching on and off. But with a long exposure the intense light persists to achieve an image like the one seen above. Note the ghosting around the rig as it has moved while the shutter was open.

The Arduino controlled device consists of a base which pivots the diode horizontally, with a servo for aiming on the vertical axis. Since the sketch is divided up by letter, we wonder how hard it would be to adapt this for use with a point-and-shoot? Perhaps you could capture one letter at a time and layer the frames in post production?

It seems this is a lot easier to build than some of the LED plotters we’ve looked at. If you do make your own don’t forget to send a link our way.


  1. angus says:

    > The exposure time used is somewhere around 2 seconds long, a feature which is hard to find on anything but DSLR cameras.

    Really? All the crappy point-and-shoot cameras I’ve had have been able to do exposures up to a few seconds long.

  2. Uky says:

    All but the most automatic point and shoots have this feature… Also almost every canon point and shoot can be hacked with CHDK to give you full manual control.

  3. Jules says:

    Umm…. This one is crying out for a Blue Ray laser and Glow in the Dark canvas to write on…


  4. birdmun says:

    a Canon camera that is supported by chdk should, according to the manual, be able to have a shutter speed up to 64 seconds or more.

  5. Mark says:

    Hi guys, how do I get in touch with Mike as I have some alterations to the device I would like to build and need his or someones smarter brain than mine…lol
    Thanks Mark

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