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Ligth Painting



CONTENTS What is Lomography? ................................................................................................... 3 Lomography skill and effects ....................................................................................... 6 From Lomography to Light Painting ............................................................................. 7 History of Light Painting photos ................................................................................... 8 Evolution of Light Paintings ........................................................................................ 13 Incorporating into Advertising? ................................................................................... 22

Light painting by Picasso

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What is lomography?

“We are reading a different photography bible.� Introduction In the technology blossoming era, modernization and mechanic advancement is applied to every gadget. Thanks to the digitalization and technological advancement, mobile phones, camera and computer are brought to another level. Traditional film camera which need manual exposure is now replaced by digital single-lens reflex (DSLR), which can produce beautiful and high-resolution images with automatic settings, high-speed shutter settings, etc. The digitalization in the photography industry also leads to the rise of post-editing trend. People are now obsessed with Photoshop in post-

processing. The beauty of photo taking with careful and manual settings are now lost. Everyone is now a photographer. With your DSLR or iPhone, people can capture their moment effortlessly. Thus, where is the challenge in photography and what is the soul in photo taking? History of Lomography Lomography is founded in early nineties in Austria and it consists of a family of cameras such as the first experimental Russian Lomo LC-A, fisheye, Holga, etc. The photos produced are all possessed the unique high contrast, vignettes and soft focus qualities.

Lomography is a lifestyle Camera setting is not the key in lomography and sometimes, random, insane setting or trial photo taking can crate photos of one kind. There is not wrong setting in the eyes of lomographers and we love off-colour, wrong focus, vignetting effects, blurred & darken corners and noise are something different and precious in our perception. We are reading a different photography bible.

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What is lomography?

Lomography 10 golden rules According to, There are 10 rules that define ‘lomography’: 1. Take your camera everywhere you go. 2. Use it any time – day and night. 3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but a part of it. 4. Try to shoot from the hip. 5. Approach the objects of your Lomographic desire as close as possible. 6. Don’t think. 7. Be fast. 8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film. 9. Afterwards either. 10. Don’t worry about any rules!

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Pros and Cons of Lomography Ironically, the disadvantages of lomography can be viewed as an advantage, vice versa.

Light leaks Light leads create trippy effects or ruin the whole photo.

Unpredictability Lomography sometimes brought users with happy accidents because photos are always experimental and the result is always unknown until the film is developed. The camera itself is instill with a unique soul so it is important for lomographer to understand their camera and take some time to practice.

Double  exposure

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Lomography Skills and Effects

Still Motion Capturing

Multiple Exposure

“You cannot depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain

Panoramic Fisheye

Prolonged Exposure Page 6


From Lomography to Light Painting

Light Painting and Prolonged Exposure With the unique camera setting, most lomo camera can take picture with shutter wide open to capture beautiful paths drawn by light beams. Thus, based on this special factor, I would like to draw your attention from lomography as a whole to focus on one of the photographing skills -Light Painting.

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History of Light painting photos The first light painting first appeared in 1914. Frank and Lillian Moller Gilbreth used small lights and long exposure photos to capture the motion of workers. Light painting is just a by-product under the industrialization of factory works.

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TONE AND STYLE • Monotone • Relatively dull, lack aesthetic value • It is done for practical needs but not for artistic value


Picasso Drawing with Light In 1949, LIFE photographer Gjon Mili visited the infamous genius painter Picasso in France and showed him some photographs of ice stakers with tiny lights tied on their skates. The captured light paths were amazing and inspiring to Picasso, and thus he immediately tried light painting himself.

TONE AND STYLE • Monotone but with style • More aesthetic, relating light painting to beautiful ice skating movement • Photographer tries to capture the movement of the ice skaters for aesthetic value

Ice Stakers by Gjon Page 9


Light Drawing by Picasso

TONE AND STYLE • Monotone but with style • More aesthetic, artistically Picasso is drawing with his torch but now his brush only • Photographer captured the drawing with film, which is the replacement of canvas

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The father of Light Painting

The father of light painting Eric Staller was hailed as the father of light painting in the modern art history where his “Light Drawings” series is one of the most influential series on light painters today

Eric Staller

TONE AND STYLE • More colourful and energetic • Different pattern and line stroke are tried (e.g. parallel lines, dotted lines, spiral beams, etc.)

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Light Painting by Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Robot Vacuum Cleaner light painting A group of German students installed different colours light bulb on the robot vacuum cleaner so that when it is going around the room, the light path it creates will become the unique light painting.

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TONE AND STYLE • Colourful and energetic • Although it is experimental and random, it suits the mentality of lomography to be random • The inter-crossing colourful lines are gorgeous • The paths created are similar to those created by stars on the sky through prolonged exposure


Evolution of Light Painting 3-D Light Painting Using iPad This illusion is developed by Dentsu London and Berg. The technology is called Hologram (App can be downloaded in iTunes). The mechanism is that when you moved the iPad horizontally, the corresponding 2D image will be displayed on the screen. Thus by joining the 2D images alone the lines, a 3D image can be formed. The stitching process can be done by prolong exposure of the camera theoretically. And, theory is always beautiful.

TONE AND STYLE • Unbeatable 3D illusion by light painting • The effect is amazing, and the feeling is very future, hightechnology • Message or graphics can be displayed in air, which is unbelievable • The effect is too nice that audience will think that it is by photoshop Page 13


Light Calligraphy Light calligrapher from France French light calligrapher Julien Breton is the master in writing Arabic fonts with his torch. The photos are all direct output from camera and no post-editing on all pictures. I love this sets of pictures because mixing calligraphy with light painting is an excellent idea and his execution is very outstanding. The background also matches the style and feeling perfectly

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TONE AND STYLE • Very arabic and mysterious • Excellent execution on the calligraphy • Fonts matched well with the nature, creating fairy and soul from the Earth feeling

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Ball of Light The healing light ball When Denis Smith was facing the darkest trough in his life, he found it motivative to do photography to get away his depression. Denis played around with long exposure and use his imagination to do light painting himself. His images are interesting because he mixes strong technical long exposure landscapes with his unique “ball of light” light painting skills. Is it helpful to rule away depression by drawing light balls? I don’t know but it is obvious he is now famous with his giant light ball photos.

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The photos are between calm and furious the interaction of the ball (e.g. reflection of water) creates a beautiful picture The photos are of high contrast, and colourful Some locations are more suitable for this skills, i.e. historical sites, because it combines the intellengent from the past and present

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Gorgeous Light Painting effects The evolution of light painting Wes Whaley posted some amazing light painting with his unique skills, creating effects which have not seen before. The photos are kept untouched and they were only taken with props and suitable photo-taking skills.

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TONE AND STYLE • Very religious • high contrast colours with excellent pattern • The presence of people in the photos are great and some of them are matching well with the painting

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Gorgeous Light Painting effects (con’t) The evolution of light painting Another excellent light painter created an unforgettable sets of photos. He is Michael Bosanko from England. His strength is to create light painting which can achieve synergetic effects with the environment. “My light torch is just similar to painter’s brush. I like prolonged exposure ranging from 10 seconds to 1 hour. During the progress, my stimulation and imagination will be shown on the photos. Some asked me if I used photoshop, but i told them my photos created from night scene as canvas with torches and cameras.

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TONE AND STYLE • The light drawing is a part of the original nature and environment, making the photos very dramatic and natural • High contrast with beautiful use of colours • It sparks off imagination that audience can go into the fairy-tale like scenery

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Incorporating it into advertising? Advertising using light painting After reviewing the excellent light painting by different artists, below i want to display some print ad using light painting in the print ad .

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The above ads cannot be enhanced by the use of light grafitti but just using it as visual stimulation. No further message is incorporated into it. The light painting on the motorbike and lady is not well executed. It looks rough and not precious as those drawn by artist. Page 22


Further application With the properties of prolonged exposure, light painting can captured the repetitive actions. The rainbow light beams and the swing below captured the swinging motion in a subtle but artistic way. If applying this style and tone into sports brand ad (e.g. nike), they can just show many repetitive light beams in the sports ground to show the repetitive training of the athletes. The light beams can represent anything that go back and forth and repeating motions. Thus, it can replaced the shadow athletes in sports print ad, which is regarded as chiche when showing repetitive training.

Trial Print ad Page 23


From Lomography to Light Painting  

This article described the development of light painting from lomography

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