In 1889, artist Georges Demeny created the first known light painting photograph, “Pathological Walk From in Front”, by attaching incandescent bulbs to his assistant’s clothing and taking a long exposure. The technique was groundbreaking and became the touchstone for 125 years of unique and compelling works of art. We presented examples in an earlier post about light graffitti . Photographers have since added colored lights and performed deft physical feats to capture interesting images, but the technology involved has remained remarkably similar to what Demeny used in that first image. Until today.
Light painting is a fairly simple to do. The first step is to make sure you have the right equipment. Almost every DSLR, and most point-and-shoots, have a long exposure mode. It’s as simple as choosing the length of the exposure (from a few seconds to a few hours) and moving a light source within the frame. The process itself is fun and the excitement of seeing what you captured immediately can be extremely rewarding.
Pixelstick reads images created in Photoshop (or the image editor of your choice) and displays them one line at a time, creating endless possibilities for abstract and/or photorealistic art. Taking this one step further, Pixelstick can increment through a series of images over multiple exposures, opening up light painting to the world of timelapse, and allowing for animations of a scope and quality never before seen.
Pixelstick is made with 198 full color RGB LEDs inside a lightweight aluminum housing. Pixelstick’s brain, a small mounted box, reads images from an SD card and displays them, one line at a time. Each LED corresponds to a single pixel in the image. The images themselves can be from 1 to 198 pixels tall and many thousands of pixels wide. The handle is perpendicular and has a secondary aluminum sleeve, allowing pixelstick to spin freely. Pixelstick uses 8 AA batteries.
A central bracket connects the two 3 foot sections of aluminum housing and provides a mounting point for the handle. The perpendicular handle allowed for the most natural movement for both linear striping and more organic, abstract movements. A rotating sleeve sits over the handle and can be locked tight when not in use, or loosened allowing Pixelstick to spin freely.
Find out more and support the project at the Pixelstick Kickstarter page.