But which tubes are right for you?
This page gives you basic guidelines about which tubes are going to get you started in your light-painting journey.
Short answer: MilkyWhite and MilkyOrange. These are the two easiest tubes to use. They are bright and work well in most circumstances. Tons of my images are made with these two tubes. This is exactly what the StarterKit is about. You'll see in this kit that we also include a few colorful small tubes to put on top of the long white one. This is how we create images like this one: https://500px.com/photo/1012620064.
But also: The StarterKit+ comes with two additional milky tubes (Yellow and Pink) which are also very easy to use and quite effective in their own way. The pink one is especially interesting when shooting against the sunset during the blue hour. The starter kits come with a basic flashlight that is great to get you on track, but that is not the one that I'm using. Check out this complete flashlight review guide if you want to step up your game a little bit.
The travel kits are more in line with my actual way of working. If I would have to leave on a trip with minimal equipment, I would go with the basic TravelKit. But then if I can bring more, I would go with TravelKit+, and then, for my usual longer trips, I leave with the full kit, the "Eric's travel kit". But the key elements are these: MilkyWhite, MilkyOrange and RoseBronze! I covered the two first ones above, but the RoseBronze is an absolute necessity for me when I work outdoors late at night. This is the perfect color to counter balance the cold white balance used on the camera when shooting with the moon, the stars or the Milky Way.
When I work in the studio, I use mostly my Holographic tubes as they are very rich in various colors. My favorite one these days is the Sugar tube, and this tube comes in both the StudioKit and StudioKit+ packages. You'll see that on the StudioKit+ package, I doubled the Sugar and Silver tubes. These are good options to either make stripes or make super long tubes by stacking them on top of each others using the provided long extenders.
Here's how it goes for me when I work outdoors. At sunset, during the blue hour, I always start with the MilkyWhite tube as this is is the brightest one. The brighter the tube, the earlier you can start to work (yes, that involves having quite a powerful flashlight if you want to have a few bonus minutes). If I shoot against the sunset, I'll usually go with the MilkyPink or Holographic RedPink right after that (both are very similar - one is diffused, the other is uni-directional). Then, when it gets a bit darker, I'll go with the MilkyOrange, and this is normally the moment where I create my best images (The MilkyOrange at the sweet spot during the blue hour is magical). After the blue hour, I switch to my Olympic RoseBronze tube and this is what works best with the stars and the Milky Way.
Here's a complete session where we go through my main tubes more or less as I describe it above
Make your own kit
Most products can be purchased individually so you can build your kits with your own taste. Keep in mind that the Milky tubes are the brightest ones (especially the White and the Yellow ones). The Holographic tubes are a bit harder to use, but they're going to give you incredible colors.
Over the next months, I'm going to add more examples to each of the individual tube colors, but there's also a nice reference grid available on the @lightpaintingtubes instagram account where I feature the work of our members (using tubes from this store).