Waving Torches At Things
September 19, 2011 8:39 PM   Subscribe

Light painting (also known as light drawing or light graffiti) is a photographic technique in which exposures are made usually at night or in a darkened room by moving a hand-held light source or by moving the camera. In many cases the light source itself does not have to appear in the image. The term light painting also encompasses images lit from outside the frame with hand-held light sources. The first known photographer to use this technique was Man Ray in his series "Space Writing" created in 1935. The photographer Ellen Carey discovered Man Ray's signature signed by penlight nearly 74 years after the pictures had been taken” (wiki)

More: A website dedicated to Light Painting Photography. Here are some random 25 'Spectacular Light Painting' Images (Don't you HATE those 'LISTS' of re-posted photographs without linked source attribution? I do, but these are 'pretty'). Tons more on Google Image
posted by growabrain (9 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
(Oooops, I just saw the previous post by Jessamyn's from 15 minutes ago. I guess everybody is hanging out over there)
posted by growabrain at 9:57 PM on September 19, 2011

Light painting is one of the standard techniques used in cave photography. They mostly use it to get realistic images of large dark spaces - too large and dark to illuminate with one flash, and often too remote to get large quantities of lights into.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:15 AM on September 20, 2011

Don't forget light painted video! Marie Lucier made works using the properties of video camera tubes of the 70s, which would decay through repeated exposure to light. Pointing the light-sensitive tube at light sources, like the sun, she produced works such as Fire Writing and Air Writing. These projects actually leave behind the artifact of the camera tube, where the final image burned into the camera is still burned into this vidicon tube.
posted by armisme at 7:46 AM on September 20, 2011

I just taught one of my coworkers how to do light-painting photos a few weeks ago. It was exciting to watch their enthusiasm grow as they realized how simple the technique could be, and how much they could do with it.
posted by quin at 8:47 AM on September 20, 2011

Those Frank & Lillian Gilbreth images of people working are amazing. Anyone know if more of their photos are available online? I spent a few minutes with The Google and failed.
posted by Nelson at 9:09 AM on September 20, 2011

Nelson, start here & here
posted by growabrain at 1:05 PM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

In other news: X-rays uncover secret painting beneath Goya masterpiece
posted by homunculus at 1:08 PM on September 20, 2011

Lovely to see the older examples!
posted by Specklet at 4:30 PM on September 20, 2011

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