Monday, September 03, 2007

More Lightpainting, Different Subject

Many of you have probably seen the recent Sprint commercials showing dancing figures of light moving about the screen. Using flashlights and other LED-based lights, a Japanese performance group known as Pika-Pika discovered a whole new way of painting with light. Not sure if they are the designers of the new commercials, but if not, they certainly were the inspiration for it. What's neat here is that instead of painting a surface or tree or cactus with a lightsource, the light itself becomes the subject. They make repeated photographs of the lights spinning, moving about in distinct shapes. Then they animate them with software to create a type of cartoon that will blow you away.

Check out more here (courtesy of Strobist blog) and follow the link to watch the Sprint commercial and the original Pika-Pika videos:

Lightpainting Videos

Lightpainting--What Is It?

Forget lightsabers and paintbrushes for a moment and think of light as a way to illuminate the surface of some object or scene. Now imagine setting up your camera on a tripod and leaving the shutter open for several seconds, if not for many minutes. Then take a light source (flashlight, strobe light, LED keychain light, your open cellphone or even car headlights and placing light just where you want it to go. Now if you do this under cover of darkness, no one will think you are weird or working for a counterterrorism unit, but rather that you are having a blast making one-of-a-kind images that extend your creativity in entirely new ways. Of course they might still think you are weird--just look at the shot of me above lightpainting in front of the Flatirons in Boulder, CO.

For a basic primer on the topic, visit the link below:

Dave Black's Cool Lightpainting Tips