#2. FINDING THE RIGHT ANGLE FOR SHOOTING A PHOTOGRAPH FOR A LIGHT PAINTING SUBJECT
Although finding a dark background for light painting is important, you may have some control over this by choosing an angle that puts your subject against darkness rather than light.
Since the pictures you are creating are generally abstract, the distortion of a wide angle lens or the compression of a telephoto lens is probably not all that important. However, making sure that the background is dark is crucial.
Before taking pictures, walk around your subject from different angles and distances to find the one point of view that will allow your subject to be placed against the darkest possible background. Use your zoom lens to frame the subject but leave plenty of space around the subject for this kind of photography (see the section in this tutorial about framing).
A telephoto setting will allow you to get some distance on your subject and may give you more room to move or work (called the working distance) as you take your photographs.
For example, with my Ferris Wheel pictures, I took them from a low angle that looked up at the Ferris Wheel so that the dark sky and *NOT* the lights of the fair were the background. In order to do this I had to use a wide angle lens.
Here is the same Ferris Wheel with camera movement added.