When I first started taking photos with my old Canon point and shoot, I always let the camera do the work for me, by that I mean auto focus, auto exposure, auto everything. Then I saw some night photography and light painting, and that was one of the driving forces behind learning to use manual settings and understand how the camera really works. The truth is it's actually pretty easy. It's also a bit gimmicky but it's still fun to do.
For those of you who don't know how it's done let me break it down; tripod, long exposure, light source. Your light source can be anything from a cell phone or flashlight, to steel wool or a programable LED light bar.
For the first two photos we used the light bar that Jake built. It's a six foot tall strip of LEDs with a mini computer attached to it. After you upload an image to it from your phone you simply push a button and walk through the frame. The LEDs light up in sequence while you walk which results in an image.
The next technique we often use, which has become tremendously popular, is spinning steel wool.
The light bar is a great way to make ghosts.