Mar13

Light painting revolutionizes photo art

2014 at 01:41 pm by admin

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Light painting, which is a photographic technique in which a camera takes a prolonged exposure as hand-held light sources are moved around in the frame, has existed since the 1930s, thanks to photographers like Man Ray and Barbara Morgan. Now, with innovations like smart phone cameras, new LED sources, and a variety of creative solutions, light painting has become more accessible to create than ever before, and people have used this accessibility to create a wide variety of amazing photos.

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A wide variety of techniques involve using battery-powered LEDs to create light fixtures of different colors and shapes. These include such tools as cold cathode light wands, created with a cathode tube, batteries, and simple switches, as well as simple solutions like taping holiday lights together to create light rods and cords. Then, simply waving these tools in front of a camera can create a wide variety of color shapes and forms.

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Other artists have been innovating with more creative tools, like creating light rigs on top of structures like bicycle wheels, electric drills, axle-mounted wire, and more. Some artists, like Barry Elder, have even started experimenting with fire. By using a flammable rope hung from a pole, Elder has created a wide variety of fire-based light painting, including grandiose fire walls and other shapes. Other artists have also taken to this form, using embers and sparks to create vivid paintings with natural light.

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Finally, one of the most recent innovations to the light painting scene has been the concept of the digital wand, like the popular Pixelstick. Taking advantage of the latest SD card technology and micro-controllers, these automated sticks can paint out a loaded image in real space, opening the possibilities of light painting to a whole new spectrum. These sticks can even be used to create vivid movies or GIFS, bringing light paintings to life in motion.

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With a wide variety of original tools and methods, each light painter has their own unique way of creating their artwork, and helps make light painting one of the most interactive photo art forms out there.

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