Light Painting

Light Painting

by Atton Conrad

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Light painting is entirely a creation of movement.

A light source is drawn across the scene while the camera is open and so a single point creates a flowing line. A memorable example is in pictures of moving cars at night, where the head and tail lights trace outlines of white and red.

The same process was used below to create these dresses with a flash at the end of the exposure freezing the model in the shot.

They were shot for an editorial for 125 Magazine with an updated version a number of years later for Belvedere Vodka.

Different sources were used to create different textures with led wire and tape, incandescent torches and in the image below right, black tape on a fluorescent tube.

Light painted Dresses

atton conrad light painted trail dresses 125 magazine3 dual

Light Painted Advertising Campaign

Light painting was centre stage for this Hennessey Campaign.

Having only fashion work and the light dresses in my portfolio I was asked to work with a still life photographer to create the trails.

One can hide the source of light and “paint” the subject for beautifully controlled lighting.

Moving a visible light source creates a “Light Trail”

so after an industrious weekend learning to light paint the bottle itself produced a proof of principle that got me the whole job.

I’ve often integrated Lightpainting into my still life since.

small Belvedere Bottle1 layer animation 2 1

Here you can see how I build the image with various brush strokes.

The images are dropped into layers in photoshop and set to “Lighten Blending mode”

Each brushstroke can be chosen and allows lighting choices to be made after the fact. 

Many differently lit options are available by mixing different “brushstrokes”

Allowing Myself, Clients and creatives greater control & choice in post.

I supplied 36 differently lit bottles to Hennessey from a “single” shot.

Following on from that I sorta went big (as in my subject) with The Karma Rovero shoot.

It was a fully light painted car campaign for the car company I fshot in L.A.

I managed to take a complete lighting kit for the shoot in just a suitcase!

Same process as before shooting layered “plates” for composite.

It’s a fantastic process for young photographers. They can, with just a torch/flashlight, tripod, camera and a lot of practice shoot campaign level lighting in their bedroom.

Its teaches them about light and give an innate understanding of lighting that transfers into professional lighting across the board.

Light painted Car Photography

KARMA 1 Flight SQ 1

Fine Art Light Painting: Francis Bacon’s Popes

I have employed the exact same Light Painting techniques to create these homages to Francis Bacon’s Popes series. The technique can really emulate paintings quite well.

See more of my fine artwork at

You can also see my current fine art project “The Fall” development on my blog.