Light Painting!!!

Light painting, black-and-white photos, a random warehouse and new friends. What to do on a Friday – if you do not drink alcohol and you cannot go out to eat?? An art show maybe? While in Florida, I attended Snap Orlando! Motion to Light.

My initial motivation to go to this show was a photo of a tattooed man taken by the artist Cedric Arnold. This black-and-white portrait is part of a series called Sacred Ink that was included in this show. I was drawn to this work not only because the subject matter is reminiscent of some of my tattoo photos, but even as a person who is clearly a bit obsessed with color, I sincerely have adoration for skillful black-and-white shots. I find the strength and presence that a single black-and-white portrait can bring to light unparalleled.

SNAP! ARTISTS OPENING NIGHT at Snap! Warehouse. I worked late on Friday, so I could not get to this warehouse until after 11 PM. Of course, I was quite cautious to drive to a random warehouse in a strange city at night alone. I read about the event, but there was no contact phone number and no one answered the email I sent. Hmmmm…then I figured what the hell. As I arrived there were no visible markings designating the entrance; then all of the sudden, I finally appreciated the existence of smokers!! A small group of people stood outside under a small white tent marking the door. I found it!!  

In general, I like warehouses – the high ceilings, the grandness etc. I strolled around the venue and viewed the work. Everyone of course has their own opinions on art, but here are a few from the show that I especially enjoyed…

I stumbled upon a line of people. I was hesitant to ask what was going on (internally I am a bit shy), but I strapped a pair on and asked. It was a Light Painting Booth. Huh? Wikipedia says that Light painting is a photographic technique in which exposures are made by moving a hand-held light source or by moving the camera. The term light painting also encompasses images lit from outside the frame with hand-held light sources. Jason D. Page was taking photos of guests and painting them with light. He uses many different items from flashlights to chemical concoctions of nitrate and potassium chlorate and does not need to modify his shots with Photoshop. Hmmmm…interesting. I stepped in. Check out my portrait below. As soon as you leave the booth your photo is ready for viewing – clearly no editing. The moment that Jason’s sister and wife saw my photo (they were running the front part of the booth) they said that I was the best model of the day. I laughed. “No. Seriously.” They were insistent. What does it take to be a good light painting model? Well it is not being 6’1” and only weighing 93 lbs. It takes stillness. Apparently most people cannot stay perfectly still for long periods of time and their faces are blurred in the finished product. I, on the other hand, possess the ability to be a statue – yes I will be adding that to my resume under special skills for sure. Who knew I had this hidden talent! I may have acquired it while hiding in the jungle from unknown threats – like killer elephants and such.

My thoughts on the experience – First off Jason’s sister and wife are absolutely lovely. Fast friends they invited me back the next night and the second two photos resulted. Jason is a creative artist and has some amazing work. You can view his documentary here and his site here. It’s not every day that you run into people that truly make you smile, but the kindness these three showed to me made my weekend. Thanks guys!!

In the past, I have played around a bit with light, flashes, sparklers and such, but I have been inspired to try more. I love scuba diving at night (as noted here), one my all-time favorite hikes was a night hike in the Amazon and I adore the star-filled evening sky – so it seems that light painting may be a perfect new thing to try. Let’s play!!

More fun with light…Snap! – Motion to Light Wakeboarding!

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Jason D. Page Light Painting-Amanda-2-sm


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