24×360: Experimental Light Painting

Hi ho, your resident wearable-light ink slinger here! A while back, Aron Altmark sent me this amazing video, and on my quest to step closer to the nigh-impossible Inbox Zero, I rediscovered some absolutely amazing light art.

Timecode Labs created 24×360 using twenty-four cameras to capture 360 images of fifteen different moments in light. Combined, the images create 360 degree views of some amazing light painting. The twenty-four camera are laid our in a ring surrounding the model, and were triggered to create the “bullet time” effect. Also known as a “time slice” or “frozen time,” bullet time in its original form took a series of still cameras, all triggered at the same time or with a brief delay depending on the desired effect, to orbit a specific, normally too-fast-to-experience moment in time. Combined with something as fleeting, and typically displayed in two dimensions as light painting, this is a visual triumph.

The team consisted of Patrick Rochon, an extremely talented light painting photographer and first prize winner of the Nikon Photo Contest in Japan, Eric Paré,  and Timecode Labs of Montreal. A different style of bullet time light painting has also been done with a 96 camera rig here, by Richard Kendall.

I can only imagine what a combination of 24×360’s bullet time and this amazing piece of software could create to give a view beyond time in to how these amazing light artists create their work!

At only 55 seconds, you have just GOT to watch this video. No. Really. Watch this:

A few stills of the light paintings:

LED Freerunning: Light Emitting Dudes

Meet the Light Emitting Dudes! Three freerunners from Bangkok, Sydney, and Frankfurt take on the streets of Bangkok in RGB suits and it is just awesome to behold. Despite the effortless grace of their movements, and the beautiful surreal images exposures of their suits moving through spacetime create, it is no easy feat. The international team shot for two weeks while constantly maintaining these first-gen LED freerunning acrobatic suits, and trying to avoid attention in guerrilla filming situations (apparently the suits attracted a lot of attention, who would have thought?).

But despite all of the challenges, Director Frank Sauer says,

The cool factor of looking like a general bad ass never wore off. I think a lot big kids dream of dressing up like superheroes and leaping around the city. That’s something I can cross off my bucket list, now. We had a great time together. In the end, it’s definitely worth it to create something new and unique in a way only you can.

Check out the fantastic video:

Light Emitting Dudes – LED Freerunning from Frank Sauer on Vimeo.

H2WHOA

Ok… WOW!

Yeah. I could watch that gif all day. Implying that I haven’t been watching it all day, right? Riiiiight… *shifty eyes*

So what is this amazing thing? It’s Water Light Graffiti, a project by Antonin Fourneau with Jordan McRae and Guillaume Stagnaro. There were graffiti performances by Collectif Painthouse and the project was made at the ArtLab. Anyway, words fail… check it out! Thanks to the fabulous Fox for sharing this. Especially the video at the end of the post:

Real-Time Light Painting!

Earlier this year, the light painters JanLeonardo Wöllert and Anton Julmy used a Real Time Light Painting program. It works for both live performance and video production!

On a basic level, this video is well worth a watch because it shows how many of the more intricate light painting photographs are created. However, when you get in to what the program is doing and its applications — the video is BEYOND FASCINATING!

As Google Translate tells me, the program takes the light source, and traces its movements, colors, and intensity. It then processes the material, and adds the images collected together. The final result can either be recorded, or immediately outputted in real-time for live events. There was something about how the program can map the light paintings to objects, buildings, or stages, but Google Translate wasn’t exactly clear–if you speak German, I would love to know what you can find out about the program! Feel free to comment, or shoot me an email at daphne (at) jimonlight.com

 

Image created by JanLeonardo Wöllert.

Arduino Light Painting

After the Roomba Light Painting article from this morning, I got a bit jazzed about checking out some inspiring light painting articles.

I ran across this one from one of my favorite blogs, Hack-N-Mod, about using an arduino chip to make some excellent pieces of long-exposure light art.  The artist who they feature in the article, Kim Pimmel, used some pretty simple arduino rocking to make some beautiful art.  Some of this stuff is just amazing.

That screenshot above is from Kim Pimmel’s Flickr photostream of some of his light art with Arduino.  Amazing.

Here’s a video of some of that work – WELL worth your time!  Be inspired!

Light Drive from Kim Pimmel on Vimeo.

Thanks, Hack-N-Mod!

Jax’s Link-O-Rama: Mercy Street Edition

I’ve been laid up with a back injury (yup: incurred in the theatre!) for the past few days and am not getting out much.  And so this is the Mercy Street edition, because that’s what happens to be on Pandora right now.

Extremely cool rehearsal photos are from Mr. Gabriel’s website.

Light Paint Inspiration on a Wednesday Morning

I read this blog called Light Paint – it’s an outstanding collection of posted light art, and people submitting their excellent light paintings.  I needed some design inspiration this morning, so I was looking through the site and discovered four unbelievably beautiful pieces of light art.  Check these out, I had to share them with all of you.

from Philsometimes all it takes is bioluminescent algae…

from thegreatgildersleevefun with pendulums…

from photoholiclate night cully

from RonnieBruce – untitled, as far as I could tell

Welcome, 2010! Here’s Some Laser Graffiti!

After a small week-long break, I am back at the controls, ready to welcome in a new year.  It’s been a crazy decade, hasn’t it?  I got my start in lighting about 3 years before the new millennium started – now we’re a new decade in and I am still proud and thrilled to be a part of our industry.  I hope you are proud too – we’re pioneering folks, us lighting people!

I’m up to my eyeballs in it this morning, so I have a special treat for you on the first day back from all of your bye-bye-2009 debauchery.  Aron Altmark from the League of Lighting Twitter Folk (that organization doesn’t exist, I just made it up), in all of his guerrilla lighting  glory has created some light art that I wanted to show everyone..  I asked him to write a guest post on the work.  So – Aron, take it away!


Laser Graffiti – Aron Altmark

My inspiration for the laser graffiti project came from the Graffiti Research Labs L.A.S.E.R. Tag website. Theo, the creator of the software, has been working on this for several years now over in Europe, but I haven’t seen anything like it done in the United States recently. My setup consists of a 3000 Lumen projector (anything above 2500 lumens will work, but depending on the size of the projection and ambient light, more is always better), a 30mW green laser pointer (found on Amazon for ~$30), a decent video camera (used both a Canon 3CCD GL2 and Canon Optura), and a laptop to interface with (I use a Macbook Pro, Windows works too—use Theo’s Graffiti Research Labs L.A.S.E.R. Tag software). The camera needs to be able to have manual controls, as auto-focus will mess you up big time. The biggest consideration for any laser graffiti setup is power: I have a 250-ft heavy-gauge extension cord with an APC that connects everything up. A generator is preferable for portability, but being able to find outdoor power is a great skill to have. Also, it’s good to have someone who knows OpenFrameworks (Thanks to Ryan Wilkinson for help with software issues!).

For me, I think the appeal of the Laser Graffiti project lies in its purity. I am currently a freelance lighting designer in Orlando and am always looking for ways to further our art. Projects like this one, where the participants are more “light artists” than anything else, are truly beautiful to me. Doing art for art’s sake, and putting a piece of art out there for anyone to see, is something we don’t always get to do with traditional theatre. The L.A.S.E.R. Tag project in Vienna became a social and political forum for people to showcase their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on a massive scale—and that is really what drives me to draw inspiration from what they have done and put it in my back yard. Already, I have plans to take this setup on the campus of a university, and to use it as another form of expression for the students and faculty there. This is a method of self-expression and artistic freedom that doesn’t harm anyone or anything, is fairly environmentally friendly, completely erasable, and can be showcased wherever there is a surface, a power source, and people to participate.

Stay tuned for more from me in the coming weeks, and please feel free to contact me with questions or comments: on Twitter (@aronaltmark) or by e-mail (aronaltmark@gmail.com)

Big thanks to Jim and JimOnLight.com for taking an interest in my work. Best blog on the net!


Thanks for writing that, Aron!  Check out Aron’s images from that night:

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Robert Buelteman’s Magic Flora

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Do you know who Robert Buelteman is?  A while ago I read an article in Wired about Robert (the article is where I got the images), and I was so intrigued by his art and process that I had to contact him myself and tell him how great I found his work.

Robert is an artist of the utmost depth and skill.  He’s an artist working with light, electricity, nature, and an idea of using those three things to expose images that are hidden from our view by design.  Robert Buelteman creates images of plant life, but not with a brush and pigment, a camera, or a lens.  His images are exposed in total darkness with high voltage electricity.

Robert made an interesting comment in an article in Asian magazine “Photoworld” – he said that his art has more in common “with Chinese Brush Painting and improvisational jazz than it does with the current practices of photography.”

Robert’s process is almost as beautiful as the work that it produces.  In order to get the effect Robert creates, he has to “thin out” the subjects (the plant life) by scalpeling them down very thin to get the aesthetic feeling that he wants in the particular image.  They are then placed on a piece of color transparency film that’s covered with a diffusion filter (could be rice paper, ground glass, acetate, Plexi) laid on top of the subject to scatter light.  The “easel” onto which Robert composes his image is a piece of sheet metal between two pieces of Plexiglas, all of which is submerged in liquid silicone.  Oh, yes – and 40,000 volts of electricity that are hooked up through the plant subject, making electricity jump through the plant life and onto the sheet metal.  All of this is captured on the color transparency film.  Robert then “paints” the plant subject with a fiber optic lead no larger than a human hair using light onto the film.

It’s a trial-and-error process – Robert might do 150+ “takes” of each photo, trying to accurately catch the auras and make it looks how it looks in Robert’s mind’s eye.

The interesting thing to me about the process is the point where the gas surrounding the plant subject gets ionized.  At this moment, the gas is turned into a plasma corona of sorts, and the work takes on an almost Kirlian photography in some cases.  Robert’s process is different than the Kirlian style of photography (which is all blue); what I find very interesting is how the life of the plant is almost released and captured on film.  It’s like looking into the soul of the plant.

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I emailed Robert a little while ago, hoping to find out about the way he feels about the work, and some insight on him as an artist working with light.  He was gracious enough to answer some emailed questions – I’ve posted the exchange below:

JimOnLight:  How did you arrive at the conclusion to take such an interesting look into plant life?

Robert Buelteman:  I’ve been photographing nature for over 30 years as a black-and-white landscape photographer, and even though I had been very successful with my work, I became frustrated by the ordinariness of it all. Seemed everything that inspired me had been shot by so many others so many times that my art form had become an exercise in futility. No one SAW what I did – I desperately need a new set of eyes, a new way of apprehending life itself.

JOL:  Does your muse for this work come from a particular fascination or interest in your life?

RB:  I am interested in assisting people to beyond the strait jacket that life puts us in. Day in, day out, life has it’s way with us and we tend to become more dead, more asleep every day. My work is a wholesale rejection of the way of life that says “Nothing to see here, move along” – life is brilliant, life is precious, life is a privilege, life is a miracle. Those are the qualities I work to imbue in every photograph I make.

JOL:  Your works are amazing in many ways, but one of my favorites is the form of the work. It has a slight flavor of the Kirlian Photograhy style mixed in with something that must be specifically Buelteman – can you describe your process, both artistically and physically?

RB:  If these were straight Kirlian images there would be no color other than blue. I meticulously hand paint the subjects using a fiber optic probe the size of a human hair.

JOL:  When you look closely at one of your works, take “Avena Futua” in the Through the Green Fuse Collection for example, the observer notices a very ethereal feeling connected to the leaves and the aura of electricity. How much of your work do you see in your “mind’s eye,” per se, and how much comes from experimentation with the flora and the electricity?

RB:  You have selected the only pure Kirlian image in the entire body of work! And yes, it was a bit of a surprise when I saw that the intense discharge had super heated the leave causing it to turn red. The experience of making these images is very distinct from landscape photography – there is no sense of control – it is replaced by a serendipitous dance between myself, the subject, the vision I have for it, and the vagaries of the process.

JOL:  If you had any bit of advice for young artists and designers working with light, could you share a small bit?

RB:  I try not to give advice as I don’t think it is of much value, and it all sounds so trite:
listen to your hear
think for yourself
follow your dreams
believe in yourself or no one else will
damn the torpedos, full speed ahead

See what I mean? Now, if you can be those qualities instead of merely speaking them, there’s some real value in that.


I am so very grateful to get to connect with this man!  Check out a few more of his images (thank you, Wired) and please check out Robert Buelteman’s studio site with more of his lovely work. Robert has a great new book out of his work in this series.  The book is called “Signs of Life,” and is available from Light Language Publishing.  Check it out – free shipping through the end of the year!

Robert sent me a new work, and I have posted it directly below.  The work is called “Rainbow Chard,” as it is the Buelteman process on a piece of rainbow chard, which is almost as delicious with garlic as it is with light and electricity:

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Thank you so much, Robert!  I think your work is spellbinding.

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