The amazing art of light painting: discover 20 dazzling artists

Light painting occurs when a long exposure photograph is taken while a concentrated light source is in motion. This art form is growing in popularity, with artists around the world pushing the limits of painting with light. As you can see from these amazing examples, the results can be spectacular. If you want to try out this process yourself, Vimeo’s 'Video School' has a detailed step-by-step lesson.

01. Patrick Rochon

Arguably one of the masters of light painting, photographer Patrick Rochon has been created these kind of images since 1992. Specialising in portraits, nudes and fashion editorial images, the light paintings never fail to impress. The video above showcases 250 of his light paintings in six minutes - try not to be inspired!

02. Rob Walker

light painting

Photographer Rob Walker has some fun with light painting

Light painting can be super fun as well as beautifully artistic. Here, photographer Rob Walker has some play time with one of his favourite figurines - giving him the power we can all witness. His Flickr page is full of light painting examples but this one made us smile the most.

03. Darius Twin

light painting

Darren Pearson brings history back to life with his light paintings

Also known as Darren Pearson, Darius Twin explores his hometown of Los Angeles to seek out the perfect canvas for his light painting creations. Working as an illustrator by day, Pearson can only create these brilliant light paintings by night. You have to take a look at his dinosaur series - just look at the photo above!

04. Tony Ariawan

light painting

Digital light painting looks as beautiful as the real thing

Tony Ariawan does light painting a little differently - he creates them digitally. Whilst some would see this as cheating a little bit, we think his works are just incredible, so we had to feature them. A freelance digital artist, Ariawan says he is mostly influenced by the beauty of women.

05. David Gilliver

light paintings

Photographer David Gilliver brings light to the Island of Guernsey

David Gilliver has been creating light paintings for just over ten years, after graduating from a Fine Art Photography course in Glasgow. Moving to the Island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands, his works often focus on the natural beauty of his surroundings.

06. Janne Parviainen

Light painting: Parviainen

An illuminated bar scene by Janne Parviainen

PhotographerJanne Parviainen enjoys experimenting with light painting to create images reminiscent of 3D topographical maps. He exposes each images for up to 30 minutes as he moves through the space, tracing every surface and object.

07. Brian Matthew Hart

Light art: Hart

An electric mosaic of 30 individual photographs

Brian Matthew Hart is a New York photographer who has mastered the art of drawing with light. His wonderful mosaics are made up of individual exposures, placed together to create a full, flowing image.

08. Ernegon

Light art: Ernegon

Abandoned warehouses like these seem to be popular amongst light painters

Spanish photographer Ernegon's stunning urban light paintings have a real edge to them, demonstrating the versatility and range of the form.

09. Eric Staller

Light art: Staller

Lining the streets of New York City in light

Eric Staller has been creating light drawings in New York since 1976. His amazing images are created using numerous different light sources and installations.

10. Alan Jaras

Light art: Jaras

Brilliant results which appear both lo-fi and sci-fi!

Alan Jaras has a unique process for photographing light: his stunning images are created by passing streaming light through moulded plastics. If you want to try out this process yourself, Vimeo’s 'Video School' has a detailed step-by-step lesson.

11. TCB

Light painting: TCB

This image is called '7/365' and is perhaps a self portrait!

TCB (Twin Cities Brightest) is a sort of light painting guru. Dazzling us with orbs, streaks, and geometric shapes in urban settings, his images do justice to this art form. He describes his work as being a meld of magic and the supernatural, and we dig it!

12. Trevor Williams

Light painting: Trevor Williams

Titled 'The Gate', this image was shot at Kousanji Temple

Armed with a palette of unique lighting tools he made himself, Trevor Williams takes to thought-provoking settings to produce his light paintings.

13. Duane Schoon

Light painting: Duane Schoon

A shot painting with sparklers for a band appropriately called 'Sparks Notes'

Another impressive force in the light-painting community is Duane Schoon. His body of work shows a lot of unique experimentation and outlining of the human figure.


Light painting: LAPP

In a pitch-black underground location, tons of coloured light, and sparklers areused to produce this spectacle!

LAPP (Light Art Performance Photographer) is comprised by Joerg Miedza and JanWoellert, two very talented artists. Their work is certainly pushing limits and at times satisfyingly eerie.

15. Lightmark

Light painting: Lightmark

This eerie shot was taking in Jostedal Glacier Naitonal Park in Norway

Duo Cenci Goepel and Jens Warnecke take a more artful approach to painting withlight. Taking to unusual landscapes with flashlights and torches, Lightmark produce fantastic results which are full of wonder.

16. Michael Basanko

Light painting: Michael Basanko

An untitled work from his 'Creatures and Aliens' series

Michael Basanko says he uses torches like and artist would use a paint brush. With a masterful approach to light painting, he shows off major creativity in his work.

17. Sean Rogers

Light painting: Sean Rogers

Sean Rogers makes this acoustic guitar quite electric!

Sean Rogers is a photographer of many styles who has successfully explored painting with light. This image titled 'Electric Guitar' is a great example of the outline technique which many are experimenting with.

18. Steven Meyer-Rassow

Light painting: Steven Meyer-Rassow

We’ve all know abstract painting, but what about abstract light painting?

Steven Meyer-Rassow, otherwise known as Cow Gummy, uses a shutter speed of 1min 25secs at f9.0, ISO100 to create these abstract LED light paintings.

19. Toby Keller

Light painting: Toby Keller

This untitled work was taken on a beach in Goleta, California

With a thoughtful and picturesque approach, Toby Keller (otherwise known as BUR•BLUE) experiments with many variants of light to produce streaks and 'portals' in his images.

20. Picasso

Light painting: Picasso

LIFE Magazine’s Gjon Mili captured Picasso painting with light in 1949

Finally, the one and only Picasso, painting his famously abstract figures with light. It's been said that the father of Cubism is also responsible for shedding light on this ever popular art technique!

Words: Jess Petrella

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Have you seen any cool light paintings? Tell us about them in the comments!

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