Tag: Photography

It’s pretty hard to convince any photographer to lend their gear to someone, let alone a complete stranger. This incredibly fragile, complex equipment has not only cost us a small fortune but it’s our livelihood. However, thanks to developments in the industry, renting out your gear out makes complete sense both financially and socially. Let’s take a look at why, in 2018, you should be putting your photography equipment to work whilst you’re not using it yourself!

  1.     Networking:

Networking is a frustratingly important aspect of the photography industry and one that is often so hard to pull off. You’ve sent emails, swapped business cards and attended conferences: all to no avail. If you’re in this position, renting your equipment could be a game changer. Fat Lama, the peer-to-peer gear rental marketplace, is a gold mine for industry connections. Having amassed a collection of high-end equipment, including an expanding inventory of industry-standard photography gear, Fat Lama is now home to 50,000 creative professionals in London alone, renting everything from gimbals to density filters. Indeed, the act of just signing up gives you access to a tailored list if contacts that would take years of networking to collect.  East-London Filmmaker, Tom, described the marketplace as “a lazy networker’s dream’. Having rented I have met great people in the industry, some of which I will be working within the future”. This is the beauty of marketplaces in general. The fact that using the platform demands personal interaction, both online and in face-to-face, means that there are social benefits as well as financial.

  1.     Make Money

If you’re anything like me, you can probably attribute 30% of your yearly spending on updating and expanding your equipment rack. Lenses are always the killer; there always seems to be another lens that you need for a specific shot. If you’re serious about your art, then you’re going to spend, a lot, on photography equipment. But what if your gear could pay for itself? If you start renting your lenses and camera out they subsidise themselves and before long you will have made up the money you originally spent. The average rental price for a DLSR is between £20 to £30 per day, meaning that after two weeks of rental, you will have made up the price of a Canon EOS 1300D. It can become more than just a way to subsidise your equipment though if you play it right renting can become a serious source of income. Some people using Fat Lama have been able to make £3,700 per month by just renting their unused kit out. If you are a freelancer who is often between jobs, this can provide significant financial stability and (most importantly) it makes splashing the cash out on equipment a guilt-free exercise in future.  

  1.     Save Money

As just discussed, getting hold of equipment for photography is expensive enough as it is and with lightpainting you’re adding another stack of expenses. Collecting items such as density filters, cable releases, as well as a host of different lenses can take months of saving to amass. If light painting is just a passion that you like to explore in your free time, spending thousands of pounds on gear might be a little wasteful when borrowing is an option. In particular, if you are a beginner, just looking to try light painting out, the only way to feasibly have a go is to find a taster session. However, once you tap into sharing economy, this is no longer an issue. All of these items and more can be found online as a short-term rental on Fat Lama, which if you’re thinking of starting out or just looking to keep the cost down, will come as a welcome surprise.

  1.     Environmental Benefits

The rate at which technology is advancing has unimaginably changed the possibilities of photography; Light painting being an excellent example. However there is always a dark side to progress: waste. We are currently producing 50 million tons of electronic waste per year, which is highly toxic and for the most part, totally unnecessary. The photography industry is particularly guilty of unchecked consumerism; every time the industry advances we all need the newest technology to stay relevant. This is why renting needs to become the new norm. Borrowing rather than buying means you are investing in the ever-growing circular economy, without losing out on accessing the latest technology. It is a vision of sustainability that still allows for luxury, with governments around the world pumping money into anything that supports a sharing economy. You can shop without harming the planet and become an ethical consumer.


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.

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.

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Green Spiral Lightpainting using the Orbinator.

The Game of Light 1 The Art of Football – The Beauty. The social. The Political. I’m excited to announce that these Lightpainting Artwork that I created specifically for this exhibition with the Help of Animator Brett Bower are featured alongside other incredible artists from all around the globe.  The Game of Light 3 The Game of Light 2 It is not often that you get to combine 2 of your biggest passions in a photo. In my case it doesn’t get better than this; Football and Lightpainting. If I could only find a way to incorporate coffee and it would be complete. Continue Reading..

To celebrate the launch of LightPaint Lab, I thought it would be a good idea to hold a Lightpainting Photowalk here in Sydney. After spending about 3 months in front of a screen getting the website ready whilst still working on editing videos & photos for clients, it was about time to get out, pick up the Camera, LED Lights, Steelwool and have a little fun. To be honest, I was wondering if anyone is going to show up at all, you never know with these sort of things. The response had been good in the lead up, but I did not expect such an overwhelming response. I didn’t do an official head-count but I believe there were close to 40 photographers altogether, some even travelled from as far as Nowra and the Central Coast. There were a lot of familiar faces and a lot of people that I have only met online before, it was great to finally meet them in person and have a chat.


I was really lucky to have Kevin Lynch aka KevTwirl there to perform some spectacular Fire-twirling and  Nate Burr aka Blunty, who shot this awesome Video of the night.

To start, I ran a little workshop with the aim of getting everyone up to speed with the basics. We then moved over in to the far corner of the beach where it was dark enough. Even though there were many that already had some experience in Lightpainting Photography, I tried to keep things fairly simple so that everyone could get the most out of our more experimental shots later on. Basically I just explained the principles of Lightpainting photography and the best settings to use to capture Light Trails in long exposures. For the first setup I just used a simple LED Torch for a little bit of Light Graffiti, before we moved on to using the Rainbow-LED Stick, Steelwool, Fire-Poi and staffs, Orbs and more. Here are some of my photos from the night, there are not many (I was having too much fun teaching and operating all the fun LED Gadgets).

It was my hope that everyone there would learn something new and walk away at least with one great photo – and I think most people did.  The overwhelming response to the Photowalk and the encouragement I received from everyone, prompted me to start putting together a LightPainting Photography Course and a MasterClass for more advanced Lightpainters. These classes should be up in the coming weeks and I am already planning for the next free photowalk so please stay tuned by signing up to the newsletter and following us on facebook, twitter and Google+ . Continue Reading..


Finally, after 6 challenging weeks of web design, countless coffees and sorting through Lightroom archives, it’s finally done. I am sure you all have a few questions about this new venture of mine and I am going to try to answer a few of them here in this post.


Why the name “Lightpaint Lab” ?

I have always been fascinated by Lightpainting photography and am delighted to be able to share what I know with you. It is interesting to note, that the word “photography” was created from the greek roots phōtos, genitive phōs ”light” and graphé ”drawing”, together meaning “drawing with light”. Which in essence makes every photograph, painting with light.

I really like the idea of a Laboratory. It means I can experiment, to constantly try new things and push the boundaries of what’s possible but at the same time allow myself to make mistakes and evolve. By the way if you find any spelling mistakes or find something is not working on the site, please let me know.

Secondly a lab is also a place to collaborate and work together. This is a big part of LightPainting, more often than not am I working with someone to create the images you see here. Eventually I would love to make LightPaint Lab a hub for the best Lightpainting Artists around.

Lastly when I hear the word lab I immediately imagine the smell of the chemicals in my old analog darkroom (may it rest in peace) . Crafting and delivering the best in fine art prints is a big part of this business and soon you will be able to purchase these from our gallery.

Northline Commercial Lightpainting-4

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