This photo was from a creative night photography series where I experimented with light painting by using an LED pixelstick, designed by Bitbanger Labs. To create this image I used the pixelstick, a long exposure on my Canon 5D MIII Camera and portable tripod. The pixel stick is a lighting device which has different light and frequency settings that create different shapes. The stick needs to be moved by someone to create light trails, this can be done by walking slowly in front of the camera and making shapes with the stick by waving it slowly. You can see the pixelstick being used on the pixel website.
In this photo I used an exposure time of about one minute. Long exposures are best used with a shutter release remote control to avoid shaking the camera when pressing the shutter button. The long exposure of the camera means that the person walking in front of the camera will not be captured on the camera (and therefore will disappear), however, the light trails and static background will be captured. You definitely need to use a tripod with such a long exposure to eliminate camera shake and to keep the light trails and background in focus.
In this photo, my background image was the Houses of Parliament but you can choose anything as a background. If you want a person to appear in your photo then they could be photographed in the foreground, in front of the light trails (or even behind or amongst the light trails, if you wish). To photograph a person, use a Speedlite flash directed at the person, this will help capture them in focus whilst the light trails are being made (the person also needs to keep very still!)
Have fun and add some magic to your night photography!
*Coffee & Cake Fund* I offer my photography tips for free but if you buy any of the products by following the links above then I will eventually receive a tiny commission from Amazon. :)