Light drawing and light writing

Light drawing by Lichtfaktor

Light-drawing and light-writing is getting a fair bit of attention. Take these two commercials (below) for Sprint (also seen on Marc Schiller’s blog). Creative don’t you think?

They remind me of Toben Seymour’s music video for the song Jubilee by the Willowz (below).

I’ve seen more and more light-drawing over the past month, and there are some excellent photographs on Lichtfaktor’s MySpace page.

Lichtfaktor gives the following tips on how to draw with light using your camera:

To get the best results you need a tripod.
The exposure should be around 10-30 sec. or longer if needed.
Stay in front of the camera and do your writing.
Set the camera to about iso100, and close your aperture as much as possible. This prevents over-exposure. If there is still too much light you might have to use a nd-filter.

Aaron at milienzo recently published another interesting article drawing attention to Lichtfaktor’s Flickr set.

And have you seen the Drag and Draw project from Philips? Now you can encourage your kids to draw on walls.

31 responses

  1. Many thanks for the link back David. Cool vids – I absolutely love the last video you link to – the light writing one – as there are no special effects there. It is purely dont using lichtfaktors over exposure technique and stop-frame animating it. Amazing work.

  2. Yeah, I saw those Sprint ads b4 the trailers of a movie last wknd. I was just thinkin to myself how cool are those ads. It reminded me of those light graffiti pictures, which I came across b4 seeing those Sprint ads. Cool stuff!

  3. Wait, were those there before I commented? If so I completely missed them! Didn’t you originally post this on Friday? I know I saw something about this light graffiti on Friday (and went to look at the guy’s stuff on Flickr) because I saw the billboards on Saturday. I watched those videos just now. Love it! Quite a creative concept.

  4. Aaron, you’re very welcome. I’d seen some light writing around, then read your post, and thought I’d add a little. Thanks for the inspiration.

    PG, I’ve been meaning to go to the cinema for a few weeks but there’s not much on I want to watch. Looks like Helvetica (the movie) isn’t coming to Edinburgh either.

    Lauren, they were there. I was wondering how you missed them. ;)

  5. wow, these light writing and drawing things are really cool. They kind of make me remember of the speed painting fashion that were taking place some times back.

  6. Excellent!

    I’m really keen to contact some of these artists. I’ve sent a message via MySpace to lichtfaktor. Does anyone have any other ideas?


  7. I’m a huge fan of Dutch conductor, Andre Rieu! I love Sprint’s new light drawing ad using The Second Waltz (Shostakovich), often performed by Rieu’s orchestra! I am totally captivated every time I see this ad.

  8. That music video was amazing!! So creative and funny, and I liked the song too.

    I’ve noticed other people on Flickr trying light writing with different light sources than Glow Sticks….I’ve used Lasers and the Moon. Here’s my Flickr Set.

    Great article David!!

  9. I was just thinking about this the other day, i think its an awesome technique, and would love to try it if i had a camera that was capable. Thank you for compiling these links. Im still curious about some of the specifics and logistics. are they using regular flashlights? it must stil be hard to get some of the shapes so perfectly.

  10. This is rad…have you been able to find any information about how to do this with digital video where slowing down exposure is not really an option? I saw this video recently, and its amazing to me…do you have any ideas about how they did this? is this really an animation of stills combined together?

  11. Hi David I like what you are doing with light exposure even though this was some time ago that you published this blog. The technique is something I used to do years ago but I never pursued it to this level. However I did experiment with layered images with timed exposure which gave good results. I recently was toying with the idea to increase the length of exposure and adding lazer lights between the field of focus, what are your thoughts and what creative work are you doing presently. Regards Dape.

  12. Oh my goodness I’m amazed! I’m a 15 year old girl that loves to write and draw but you have absolutely changed my perspective on how to write and draw different things! Good Work

  13. I recently saw an ident on UK tv where they had celebrities drawing in thin air with a finger that left a trail of light. Looked good.

  14. I have always had a fascination for night and low light photography and image creation where you can play with the combination effects of light, long exposure and movement. One of the reasons I enjoyed my involvement with rostrum camera work in the eighties and early nineties which employed the same techniques albeit in more controlled situations. Working, of course on film, and exploring what results could be achieved with film’s response to light and colour. Many of the result would actually be difficult to reproduce in today’s digital age.

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