Adventures with Light Painting

A few months ago, thanks to the National Geographic Photo of the Day RSS feed, my mind was opened up to a whole new realm of photography: Light Painting.  Sure, I was always well aware of the concept—nightime city shots with streaked headlights or the incredible all-night exposure of the starry sky, but I had never realized just how much could be accomplished.  I have been determined ever since to try some of my own.

This past Saturday, while Tara was studying, I dug out my long neglected nerdery, that is, prized electrical components that I’ve pillaged throughout the years, and mimicking a project from Make Magazine, I built a couple light orbs.  The first one is a bunch of red LED’s soldered together and a few pennies and a dead AA battery for weight powered by a 9V battery cased in an Altoids box.  The second is a strip of tiny neon lights that I procured years ago from a dangerous corner of the web for electronics nerds: The Electronic Goldmine.


I was too lazy to actually take a quality photo here My 2 Light Painting tools: the Orb, and the Lightsaber

Once the nerdery was complete, I shut myself in the darkened bathroom to try them out.  The results were interesting…

I should have been sitting on the toilet for this Attempt 1 with the orb.  The exposure was a bit long.  Also, I did not expect that I would be that visible.

How would you like to see this in the night?


I am your father...Attempt 1 with the Lightsaber.


I then tried a few abstract self portraits… I typically don't care for profiles...

I had a better one of this, but accidently deleted it


Tara says it's fine as long as I don't get a cloak. 

And now for something completely different…

Set Phasors to StunThis one I took after a hike.  It was a 15 second exposure, timed such that a car would be headed down the road (the red).  However, a cop pulled up in the final seconds and stopped to yell at some kids to put out their fire (the bright white).  Thus, the end result looks like a friggin’ laser!

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