It’s amazing what an eye for detail, lots of patience and a really slow shutter speed can achieve. Light painting (or light graffiti as it’s also known) is a relatively new artform that uses the movement of light to create unbelievable images. In real time. That’s right, the photographs created by the artists below have all been shot in the streets and in studios in a single take – without any digital manipulation whatsoever. Over to these awesome freestylers.
Welsh artist Michael Bosanko uses an array of LEDs and flashlights – not always in the dark – and captures anything from giant spider-like creatures to organic forms, to even whimsical alien people. Michael says he got inspired to venture into light graffiti 5 years ago, while holidaying in Greece. Hey, thank goodness he took that vacation!
An industrial research scientist and microscopist who has, since retirement, turned his considerable expertise towards capturing images of intricate beauty. Alan shoots a targeted light source through a piece of textured glass or plastic formation, to capture the refraction patterns directly on to 35mm film – using no lens in the process.
This globe-trotting artist spends his time between his native Montreal, New York and Tokyo and creates surreal, and definitely eerie, works of light art. His portraits reflect Asian and other influences, with a stunning mix of colours and lasers. Patrick says that his compositions are visualised during the hours he spends meditating. Hmm.
Dean discovered a passion for light painting while pursuing a degree in Fine Arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Using flashlights and coloured gels, he meticulously details out his live, psychedelic canvases, inch by inch. Oh, and the exposures for these sessions can last up to 5 hours!
From gorgeous to downright goofy. New York-based light painters Ryan Warnberg and Michelle McSwain (MRI stands for Michelle and Ryan Illumination) bring their trademark brand of playfulness and fun to the artform. They believe that light graffiti is for everyone and anyone can participate. So apart from art projects and commercial work, they undertake birthday bashes and Halloween parties. Even Bar Mitzwahs.
The breathtaking, hyper-kinetic work of German duo Jan Wöllert and Joerg Miedza may never have seen the light of day if it weren’t for an accident (or two). Apparently, back in 2007, Jan found himself locked in at an old industrial complex where he was shooting. To kill time, he dabbled in some night photography. And accidentally moved a light source across the frame during a long exposure shot. Looking at the unusual results in the morning, the duo had a pretty good idea where they were headed!
That’s just a preview of the incredible talent out there and I’m running out of space. If you have the time, do check out some of the others like Lichtfaktor, Sola, Lightmark and Toby Keller of Burn Blue Photography.
And remember what I said earlier about light painting being a new artform? Not entirely true. It’s been around, but has become popular with artists only in the last 5 years or so. On that note, let me leave you with these early photographs of Pablo Picasso – yes, Pablo Picasso – giving it a go.