12 Electrifying Light Graffiti Images
As a photographic phenomenon, light graffiti is growing in popularity around the world. The concept is different for every photographer and each has his or her own method to capture their artistic expression. The technique involves moving a light source against the backdrop of a night sky or dark room while adjusting the camera’s shutter speed. The end result? A colorful design so spectacular you’ll wonder if it’s real. From a flower garden to a stick man, check out 12 pieces of graffiti that leave no traces behind.
In 1979, “Poseidon” was crafted outside of the United States Courthouse in downtown New York City. Artist Eric Staller enlarged a photo of the Greek sculpture “Poseidon Soter at Artemisium” and mounted it on a board with a single strand of holiday lights. He then turned the lights off and on while lowering the light-enhanced Greek god cutout to the ground. To capture this image, he used a tripod and left the camera’s shutter open for several minutes.
Tom Skinner lives in London and has recently begun dabbling in light graffiti, capturing his creative works of art with his Ricoh Caplio GX100 digital camera. This garden of “flowers” was created using light torches while the exposure time on his camera was extended to 120 seconds. Skinner has done many similar works of art using robot, heart and animal shapes.
In May 2008, Patrick Lange used the skyline of Frankfurt, Germany, as the backdrop for this multicolored light graffiti. Using a compact digital camera and a small fan with blinking lights, Lange set the shutter time to five seconds and simply moved the fan around in front of the camera to produce this work of art.
Imitating the scenery of a tropical island, Gabriel Tse and Nathan Crum made this image appear as if it is an actual drawing. These two light graffiti artists have created truly unique works of art by simply tweaking the exposure times for their different designs.
Eric Staller describes his masterpieces as “architecture of light.” Inspired by old Busby Berkeley films and the movie Metropolis, Staller created this “Lightubes” photo in 1977 by making circle shapes with a lit sparkler attached to the end of a string, while running toward and away from the camera.
Jesper Eiby and Malte Dan Baden Hansen shot this photograph by lowering the shutter speed on the camera—taking a total of 15 seconds to capture the image. To generate this design, the two photographers lit the top of paint rollers with four small lights and, with the camera lens open, were able to craft this masterpiece.
Inspired by the well-known Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso, Gabriel Tse and Nathan Crum re-created unique structures and characters reminiscent of the Cubist artist’s works—except in light form. With a Nikon D80 camera, they shot this image in February 2008.
Based in Hampshire, England, Marc Bowyer-Briggs is a light artist as well as a photographer who specializes in shooting weddings and other big events. This gas pump graffiti image was taken using his Olympus E-420 camera, by simply moving a source of light in front of a nearby gas pump.
This photograph, taken on January 16, 2009, uses light graffiti to spell out the word “happy.” To create it, a Canon EOS 400D camera was secured to a tripod with the shutter speed adjusted to a slower setting while a different colored light was used to draw each letter of the word.
This stick figure certainly looks deep in thought in this picture taken during summer 2008 with a Canon EOS 400D camera. It required an unusually long exposure time of 70 seconds.
Another spectacular shot by UK-based Bowyer-Briggs, this piece required the help of a friend. Marc lit the walls with a gelled torch while Vass spun some ignited wire wool within the arches. This is one of Marc’s favorite creations yet.
Using her Fujifilm FinePix S5700 camera and keeping the shutter open for 4 seconds, Dana Parker designed this crisscrossing image by swirling lit sparklers around at night. Parker says she found it quite difficult to do, and thinks that anything more extravagant would be especially challenging.