Egocentric Light Painting

September 05, 2012 By: erik Category: Experiments, Photography, Photos, Weird 203 views

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Light painting: erikrasOn Flickr, I follow the work of this Finnish guy, named Janne Parviainen, who does absolutely crazy things with a trick photography technique called “light painting”, which involves opening the camera’s shutter and then “painting” with an LED in three dimensions. In the same way that a long exposure photograph of cars at night shows only the headlights and no cars since the cars don’t reflect enough light from one position to leave an image on the film or digital sensor, the body of a light painter is also invisible in such photographs.

I am really quite bad at this technique, but I recently decided to give it another try, so I set up my camera on the tripod facing our hardwood floor, and got out my LED flashlight. I hadn’t planned what I would draw or write ahead of time, so there, standing in the dark hallway, I did what any bored 12-year-old girl would do in her school notebooks, and I wrote my name…

…in loopy cursive.

Light painting: erik

Interestingly, the reflection is readable and right side up. Can you explain why?

Light painting: erik

If I had written on the plane perpendicular to the floor, the reflection would’ve been upside down. But since I was writing on a plane parallel to the floor, about 50 cm above the floor, the reflection is also right side up.

Light painting: erikras

Ooh, I should see if that domain name is available!