We have some tips and tricks on taking good pictures and videos that we would love to share.

You need to have good manual camera control, and we recommend using a tripod.


To get motion blur on the prop, but not the performer, you can:

1. Make the prop move fast while the performer stays still, and/or include a flash.

  • or

2. Combine two photos taken at different exposure times, using a tripod. This is not as hard as it sounds, and provides the best effect. Most "similar" photos we see are from method 1.


Frame-rate: If you use a 1/60 exposure time in a 30fps video, how much image/light/trail will you capture per frame? ½ of the frame.

This means you’re missing half the light and action, and there will be a big dark gap in your trails for every frame. It will probably be a gap bigger than the performer’s head, and depending on how fast they are spinning, it could be much bigger. A good general rule is 30/30. Shoot at 30fps with 1/30 exposure.

Photos and videos:

• If you have any control over your lighting, start with it darker than you need, then adjust your camera settings to make your flowtoys look their best (most clear and bright light trails), THEN adjust the lighting to make the subject/background look good.

• A dark background will make your light trails stand out, even if the environment is not very dark.

• Use exposure time to control the length of your trails, not the brightness (“exposure”) of your image.

Most of today’s camera technology is not capable of easily capturing clear images in the dark. While you might have an ISO of 3200, anything over 800 will probably look grainy and dull, so help your image sensor as much as you can with the following tips:

• Use the lowest f-stop you can. If you have a lens with a lower f-stop, switch to that lens.

• Don’t zoom! Just move closer. Zooming effectively raises your f-stop and cuts out light.

Hope that helps, and feel free to contact us if we can help with anything else!