Author: alexkess

Early in 2016 I completed 3 weeks of assignment work for the US Agency DIGITAS LBI and their client Accenture. The brief was to create some interesting Light Painting images and animations using the pixel-stick.

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This is the story of how I fell in love with LightPainting Photography.

Garie Beach Firepainting-2

Running with Fire – 2010

 

In 2010 my nephew Moritz from Germany stayed with us for several months here in Sydney. One day he introduced me to a new friend he made over here Tobias “Toby” Huehnlich, who is a very talented Fire Twirler. At the time I was experimenting a little bit with Lightpainting techniques using LED’s and flashlights , but I always thought that it was just a bit gimmicky.

When Toby gave us a Twirling Demo at our home I immediately thought that this was just too good an opportunity to pass up on and that we had to do some long Exposure Photography with him twirling his Poi and Fire Staff.

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Garie Twirl 1 – 2010

 

We decided to go down to Garie Beach in the Royal National Park just south of Sydney the next morning to give it a go.

We arrived a good hour before sunrise and basically started setting up shots straight away. I set up Nikon D700 with the 17-35mm F2.8 Zoom. Most of the images were shot with the following settings  ISO100 / f9 / 30s . I didn’t have a cable release or remote at the time, but managed to avoid any camera shake by carefully squeezing the shutter every time.

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Toby was great to work with and really nailed the directions I gave him. It helps working with someone that understands composition when shooting photos like “Running with Fire.

In a lot of the shots I tried to get as much out of the reflection of the fire on the sand and the water as possible.

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Three of the biggest take-aways from this shoot that really shaped my photography career were, firstly that I realised the limitless potential of Light Painting Photography, It is like adding a whole new layer to photography.

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And the second take-away was that I knew that LightPainting works a really well when shooting at a location and having an interesting backdrop, as well as being able to see reflections and spill of the light. It really puts the Light-Art into the context  of the scene and adds more depth to the picture.

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Lastly you have to have an open mind and play around when you create your images.

 

  • Use different movements and angle the light sources differently toward the camera
  • there are thousands of different light-sources you can use (LED Keychain Lights, Pixelstick, Torches, Flashlights, Sparklers, Steelwool, Carlights, etc.)
  • try different times at night. Is it a New Moon Dawn, Dusk, Full Moon. A bright full moon can add a lot of beautiful ambient light to your scene.

 

I really hope that I could at least inspire you a little bit to go out there and take some photos, because that is where your true inspiration comes from, when you find something that you can get passionate about.

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I will never forget the day, as this was the day I fell in love with Light Painting, It did enough to inspire me for years to come and I consider myself very lucky to have been able to create a business around this craft.

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Alexander Kesselaar is a Photographer and LightPainting Artist from Sydney Australia. Alex founded LightPaintLab in 2014 and has Painted with Light for companies such as Northline, Accenture, Bacardi, Tiger Beer, Telstra, Destination NSW and more.

 

For more info and awesome LightPainting Photos, check out LightPaintLab.com
You can follow Alex & LightPaintlab on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.


International Light Painting Award 2015 - Winners Announced
International Light Painting Award 2015 – Winners Announced


Light Painting with a Giant 2-Foot Ball of Steel Wool
Light Painting with a Giant 2-Foot Ball of Steel Wool

Steel wool is often done by lighting a small ball of steel wool on fire and then swinging it around in a long exposure photo while it burns.


How to Light Paint a Skeleton by Darren Pearson | Light Painting Photography
How to Light Paint a Skeleton by Darren Pearson | Light Painting Photography

Light Painting Tutorial, How to Light Paint a Skeleton by Darren Pearson


Virtual Reality Brush Painting Exhibition with the HTC Vive
Virtual Reality Brush Painting Exhibition with the HTC Vive

Tilt Brush is a made-for-VR painting program that lets you create anything and everything with the stroke of a virtual brush!


the pixelstick - LightPainting Portraits
the pixelstick – LightPainting Portraits

They say there’s nothing new under the sun (or nihil sub sole novum for you classic types) and everything has been done before.


Michael Bosanko's New Light Painting Series "Illuminating Artists" | Light Painting Photography
Michael Bosanko’s New Light Painting Series “Illuminating Artists” | Light Painting Photography

Michael Bosanko’s New Light Painting Series “Illuminating Artists”


The Incredible Light Painting Of JanLeonardo - DIY Photography
The Incredible Light Painting Of JanLeonardo – DIY Photography

A while back I stumbled on the light painting work of Jan Leonardo Wöllert, and was immediately taken. By now, you probably know all about light painting, but if not, it is the art of using bright objects to “paint” imagery in total darkness. As light hits the sensor it ‘paints’ the final image.


Light Painting with Roomba Vacuum Cleaners | Colossal
Light Painting with Roomba Vacuum Cleaners | Colossal

These photos have apparently been around for a while, but this is totally new to me. An enterprising group of robotic vacuum cleaner owners have used LEDs affixed to the top of their Roombas to create these amazing long exposure photographs. Check out Roomba art group for more.


These Portraits Are the Result of Eight-Minute, Light-Painted Exposures
These Portraits Are the Result of Eight-Minute, Light-Painted Exposures

Photographer Gary Schneider shoots portraits with a rather unusual technique.


This is What You Get When You Strap Fireworks to a Drone for Long Exposure Photos
This is What You Get When You Strap Fireworks to a Drone for Long Exposure Photos

Photographer Calder Wilson recently did some experimentation by attaching fireworks to a drone and then flying it around in a long exposure photograph.


What?

This is a hands-on, fun and social photography workshop for photographers, who have a keen interest in learning the Art of LightPainting and Night Time Photography.
During the 2 Nights you will learn the techniques, principles & history behind Long Exposure and LightPainting Photography. We will teach you how to use LED’s, lights, fire, the pixelstick & torches to create unique masterpieces. All of this in some of the most incredible locations Sydney has to offer.
You will walk away with amazing images and a great understanding of this type of photography.

 

When?

Saturday the 14th & Sunday the 15th of November

6pm to 12am

 

Where?

In and around the Sydney CBD.

Saturday Meeting Point – Fleet Steps

Sunday Meeting Point – Hickson Road Reserve

 

What?

Bring your DSLR or Mirrorless Camera, that can shoot in manual mode, Tripod and optional Cable release. Alex will supply the LightPainting Equipment, LED’s, PixelStick and more… Feel free to bring your own contraptions if you have any.

 

I managed to see about 4 or 5 really bright Shooting Stars on Sunday night, but thought I had the Camera pointed the wrong way every time. When I went through the time-lapse footage today I found this Gem. Nice surprise on an otherwise very sombre and sad day.

Taken at Cronulla.

I have been playing around with the Pixelstick a bit in the past few days. Loving it so far. It just gives you so much control. The whole thing is really well designed and thought out.

I will be experimenting a bit more with the custom images and animations in the coming weeks and am planning on releasing a video review / tutorial soon.

#pixelstick #como #nsw #australia #sydney #lightpainting #lightpaintlab #lpl

I have been playing around with the Pixelstick a bit in the past few days. Loving it so far. It just gives you so much control. The whole thing is really well designed and thought out.

I will be experimenting a bit more with the custom images and animations in the coming weeks and am planning on releasing a video review / tutorial soon.

For this shot I got the QE 2 to go past the Sydney headlands… 😉

As a lightpainting artist living in Sydney. The Vivid Festival is an absolute must see event. So when I was contacted by advertising agency Iris Worldwide to help them to create a lightpainting app for Vivid, I jumped on board straight away.

Continue Reading..

Another one of the frames from the Lightpainting StopMotion Sequence for Bacardi. You can check out the whole Video on the LPL website.






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