Making Light Magic – Long-Exposure 3D Light Painting with an iPad


Fox sent me this amazing “making of” video of some cool long-exposure light painting, made with an iPad!  Check this out:

Making Future Magic: iPad light painting from mcgarrybowen uk on Vimeo.

From the video:

This film explores playful uses for the increasingly ubiquitous ‘glowing rectangles’ that inhabit the world.

We use photographic and animation techniques that were developed to draw moving 3-dimensional typography and objects with an iPad. In dark environments, we play movies on the surface of the iPad that extrude 3-d light forms as they move through the exposure. Multiple exposures with slightly different movies make up the stop-frame animation.

We’ve collected some of the best images from the project and made a book of them you can buy:

Read more at the Dentsu London blog:
and at the BERG blog:

An excerpt from the McGarryBowen blog, the people working with BERG London on the project:

We’ve been making two films with BERG over the summer.  This is the first.

It’s an exciting project for us, as it’s the first time we’ve had a proper chance to explore some of the themes and possibilities behind Making Future Magic, with the benefit of the superbrains and hands of some new creative partners Timo ArnallJack Schulze and the rest of the BERG team.

The brief and discussions we had in the process of making these films were about some of the aims behind the Making Future Magic strategy — all of which are about expanding the value of the commercial communications we make by approaching things with a particular set of priorities:

To make creative work that is contributory and sensible to its culture and environment; to be exploratory and sensitive with regard to materials and media; to wonder what magical visions (as opposed to the familiar dystopias) of the future of media might look like.



San Francisco Bay Bridge as Light Art

Take as long as you need to memorize this photo, you’re going to need it at some time in your life:


Beautiful.  This reminds me of a really, really beautiful time in my life.

This is from Light Paint’s Tumblr, which is one of the more awesome ones I follow!

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)


Image created by JanLeonardo Wöllert.

A Simple Introduction to Light Painting and Camera Sensors

Gotcha.  <punch punch>

HAHA, gotcha again, mophos!  <punch punch>

If you’ve not seen this, it is pretty awesome – Destin of the YouTube channel Smarter Every Day and his beautiful wife (while she was pregnant, no doubt) made this great little video primer for light painting and the way camera sensors act.  Check it out!  The initial intent was pregnancy photos, can you believe that?  What an awesome change of pregnancy photo pace!  Thanks a lot to @AronAltmark on Twitter!  You know, the Hebrew Hammer to all of us who know him “intimately.”

As I surfed around Smarter Every Day, I found this random video that Destin made of a Canon DSLR shutter in high speed.  Yeah.  Check this out:

Awesome!  Thanks, PetaPixel!

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!

Roomba Light Painting – These Little Buggers are AWESOME!

Have you seen any of the imagery made by using Roombas to paint with light in a long exposure?  They are some of the neatest pictures I’ve seen – they’re just so random, so interesting – my brain tries to see image groups in them, just like watching clouds.  I saw this on DesignBoom, make sure to check out the article!

Check out a few of the images from the article – so beautiful!

Consider me inspired.

Thanks, IBRoomba!

A Long-Exposure Proposal


@aronaltmark over on Twitter posted this really sweet video a week or so ago, and I just had to post it.

This guy Derick Childress proposed to his girlfriend Emily Kern in a very, very unique way – through a series of 10-second long exposure photographs put into video form.  The process is captured in the video below – I can only imagine how much planning went into mapping out the font characters on the ground from the window’s vantage point.

If you’re wondering, Emily said yes!  Congratulations, Derick!

Derick also has a page dedicated to this process and to the story.  It’s a neat, quick read!

The video:

Time-Lapse Helicopter Take-Off – Light Painting from 1949

Andreas Feininger’s time-lapse Life Magazine photo of a helicopter taking off at night from 1949 is… amazing.  With the Pablo Picasso light painting pictures from that year, I never imagined that 1949 was such a hotbed for light painting!

Check these images out, they are amazing.



I found these two initial images from Make, but once I did some digging, it was like Contrast Photo City.  Check out these other beautiful images I found digging through the Life Magazine pile:





Moving.  Enough said.

TUBE, from Mark the Dark

This image grabbed me by the throat, threw me down a flight of stairs, and punched me in the Light Sock:


From a few of the folks at Mark the Dark – Jay Liu, John Rim, and Kotori Ikari.  Good work, folks.  I love it.

Here’s another interesting light painting image from user “OBEY” at Mark the Dark:


LAPP: Light Art Performance Photography

I found another brilliant group of light artists – the Light Art Performance Photography group, or LAPP.  They’re a German group – check out their site, it’s full of pretty excellent stuff.  When you consider that these shots are one open and close of the shutter, it makes the work that much more impressive.





Thanks, Colour Lovers!