Light Graffiti or more known as Light Painting is a photography technique that plays around with the camera setting and with the help of any light source, it creates an interesting photo. Light Graffiti sometimes includes the main object of their art and it is surrounded by lights.
Back then, only white light can be seen in the light graffiti art. However these days, with the help of wholesale lighting, art makers could spark their work with a lot of vibrant colors.
First Light Graffiti
Étienne-Jules Marey is a French physiologist, a scientist and a chronophotographer. He mainly studies the development of cardiology and the science of laboratory photography. Marey is known to use photography in all of his classes to make them more interesting. In 1889, Marey and Georges Demeney started a research programme to study a wide range of movements from humans to horses.
The first time they discover light graffiti is when Demeney decides to place an aflame bulb on the assistant’s joint. The assistant will walk around the area and Demeney will capture her movement. The result was phenomenal. It was called “ Pathological Walk From in Front”.From this first photo, a lot of other modern artists are inspired and created their own version of the light painting.
Simple As 1 2 3
Feeling intrigued already? You can create your own light graffiti! Here are the steps. Make sure you have your camera, tripod and light source ready. Your light source can be anything as long as it can be moved around.
On your camera, you need to set it to manual mode. This is so that you can select your own shutter time and exposure. When you make light graffiti or painting, long exposure is the most important. Select the setting that can help to prolong the exposure as long as you hold the shutter.
You also can manually set your shutter speed based on how long it takes to finish your art. You can try afor few times to set the best time for your piece. For a bigger gesture art, it is better to take as long as you can.
If you have an object as your main focus, make sure that your camera captures
and focuses on it sharply. A blurry photo can make your piece look horrible.
Tripod is the most important item in making light graffiti. In long-exposure photography, any small movement is crucial. So if you decided to not have a tripod and ask someone to hold it for you, it will create a mess.
Next, your light source. Use your creativity and have fun trying different kinds of light sources. Many use sparklers, torchlight, LED light, glow sticks, and even your smartphone light! As long as it is visible and can be captured through your camera, it is all set!
Last but not least, you need to be wearing dark colour clothes. A bright colour may be reflected in the photo and disturb your graffiti process.
Experimenting Light Graffiti
After everything is set for you, let’s try experimenting with light graffiti in a variety of ways.
First, you can make a self-portrait. Start by drawing the lights around yourself. For an introvert, this is how you can have fun by yourself. You can try to make a circle around your face. Draw a smiley across your face or a devil’s thorn on your head.
Second, you can try to write on the air. You can try with as short as your name or as long as your favourite quote. If it comes out just as you imagine, you can post it on your social media. Or even sellsells it!
Next, you also can try to do an outline of your main object. For example as small as a water bottle to as big as a car. This is also one of the famous pieces of light graffiti art people often make. When you are already comfortable with all the techniques, you may start to do it randomly as it is your art.
The thing that people enjoy about light graffiti is, the whole world can be your canvas!
Light Graffiti Performance
Professional light graffiti painterspainter puts up a light performance for their fans. Some also take a commission to promote one’s products or to put on a show while an occasion is happening. The live light performance will consist of a variety of their best work.
Some light performances are also accompanied by dance or music along the performance. This makes the art more interesting because they will have connections with each other. A mix of different kinds of art is also always fascinating.
Famous Light Graffiti Photographer
This famous light painter is a duo of German, JanLeonardo Woellert and Joerg Miedza. Together, they created their own Light Art Performance Photography that bedazzled the world. Throughout the years, they had made themselves known and established a high position in the light art community.
LAPP-PRO had created a lot of light graffiti for commercial purposes depending on their client’s main vision and highlighting in the promotion more. In 2010, one of the biggest performances they have ever done was a collaboration with NIKE, creating an advertisement for the World Cup.
Hannu Huhtamo was born and raised in Finland. His art focuses more on an abandoned and deserted place on the outskirts part of town and makes it alive again. He loves to play around with abstract shapes that generate bold contrast with their surroundings. Huhtamo’s light graffiti journey started way back in 2008.
He is also a part of Valopaja light art creative, a workshop that is held to spread the knowledge of light graffiti and make interactiveng live light graffiti performances. In these events, the audience is given a chance to try out themselves and create their own light graffiti. Very fun! Huhtamo’s art was also featured in various magazines and news channels such as CNN and Discovery Channel.
Light graffiti is one of the modern arts that people still sleep on. Hope that all of these interesting facts about light graffiti will trigger you to start making your own collection of light graffiti. Nothing is too late to try!