I consider myself to be a pragmatic autodidact constantly experimenting with all kinds of visual arts; exploring the boundaries of each field; learning by trial and error. Having worked most of my career on computer graphics trying to replicate reality I have found that it’s irreplaceable. My love for photography started at school with the course “Audio-Visual Techniques” where I learned a great deal about photography. I was doing car trails on a Nikon FM2 borrowed from school in 1995. After school I got several jobs as a 3D animator and digital artist. In 2004 I re-discovered how exciting photography can be when dancing with a LED light in a park nearby at night while my Canon 300D was set to an exposure of 30 seconds.
I soon discovered that light painting is more than a long exposure photographic technique. It’s a way to expand our soul by being in synch with what is going on around us. I became aware of time in a much more intimate way through light painting. An experience that can easily approach the intensity and calmness of a deep meditative state. I believe that light painting or engaging in the creation of any type of Art is a way to recreate ideas and abstract thoughts using tools in the physical universe as an expression of the mind much like painting with pigments, sculpting or dancing. The element of preference for Light Painters is visible light: the most studied form of electromagnetic radiation and one that keeps elucidating Mankind at many levels. In light painting, the night is a canvas for bringing into the real world notions and concepts only occurring naturally in the mind.
With my light painting photography work I find opportunities to design a scene as if it were a 3D canvas, starting with an idea, finding balance in color and shape and searching for simplicity made out of latent complexity. Theoretic knowledge of light acquired during my professional career has contributed to me being a photographer with intricate knowledge of how light works and have developed a solid and professional digital workflow.
Some of my most poignant moments where had while light painting and I recommend it to anyone seeking enlightenment and a general good time. I keep discovering more of its beauty as well as a vibrant community of light painters from around the world. Speaking of which, some of the light painting workshops organized by Oddball Graphics in 2014 will have several renowned international guests who are experts in the field of light painting.
Being the son of two teachers and also married to one I am well versed in pedagogical techniques and also apt at engaging an audience. I say this because being a good photographer doesn’t necessarily equate to being a good teacher. The team at Oddball Graphics have taken care to produce a workshop program that is very well structured but still flexible enough to accommodate different levels of expertise and makes group dynamics work for the goal at hand which is to learn through practice.
Empirical evidence is a source of knowledge acquired by means of observation or experimentation and that is exactly what I intend to provide each attendee. No long monologs beforehand about theory or history of light painting. I will provide links in a brochure with more information about light painting and the workshop in particular. We will go straight to business after an informal introduction to each other detailing names, expertise level, favorite fruit (just kidding), or any curiosity of interest. After that we set up tripods, go through camera settings and start taking photos. After each photo is taken we do a short evaluation and we’ll talk about how we can make it a better photo. I will access the level of expertise and adjust my comments accordingly taking care not to alienate someone who doesn’t understand but also not bore someone who does.
Everyone in the workshop will have a chance to shine and present their own ideas as well as find new ways of expanding horizons through cooperation and not through competition. For this reason I will limit the number of attendees per session to 4 per participating instructor for the standard group workshops. I will guide everyone during this process as well provide more detailed theoretical knowledge about why some things look the way they do and how we can change them according to our desire. I will put at the disposal of the attendees most of the tools used to make my portfolio and give a brief explanation of the components used so that you can build your own. If you choose to be a regular attendee we will go through new techniques every-time while also continue to practice the basics.
Each light painting session can take between 2h00m and 3h30m depending on factors as weather, willingness of attendees to endure the hardships of light painting for 3 straight hours or more and general mood of the group. I highly recommend you bring a wireless remote trigger or at least a good wired one. If you own an android smartphone with IR blaster you are already equipped to trigger cameras with an IR receptor. If you have pocket light, torch/flashlight, flash, bubble blower, glitter, any light emitting substance or one that can interact with light in an interesting way please bring them along as they could be used alongside the tools we will provide. Depending on group disposition I will also provide custom made animations for the smartphone or tablet so that we can use those as light painting tools. Check the section free stuff for more details. So if you have any communication/media device with a screen (android phone, ipad etc.) I recommend you bring them along. For the group workshops I welcome each attendee to bring along a good friend so that the learning experience can be enhanced by a solidly established affinity and communication bond. Pets are welcome too. Dogs can be great guards and they sure cheer up a dark cold night. I reserve the right to deny participation of an attendee if he/she in any way disturbs the good harmony of the group.
Together we’ll light the world!
The prices are per person and excluding travel expenses outside a radius of 100km from Oddball Graphics headquarters in Voorburg, The Netherlands. Upon payment I will contact you to establish shooting location and target date. Scroll down for a reminder of what each modality includes.
* To be held in a Saturday or Sunday with a maximum of 4 attendees per available instructor.
* To be held any day of the week with a maximum of 2 attendees per available instructor.
* One night and one day to be held at any local or international location at any available time.
Oddball Graphics Facebook page
Oddball Graphics Flickr page
Light Painting World Alliance
Very useful website about light painting
Light Junkies group on Flickr
Long Exposure group on Flickr
Light Painting the Real Deal group on Flickr
The name says it all.
On-line shop for light painters
Luxurious shop for light painters
Tutorials to make your own DLW
Each of these QR codes will take you to a video that will transform your mobile device into a light painting tool. You can scan them with an app like this to play a video on your phone or tablet while taking a long exposure photo of it. If you want to know more check out this group I created on Vimeo. If you like how these QR codes look you can always create and manage your own fancy QR tags with Unitaglive: