Laser Light Photography for Teens

by smackdaisley@evpl on Thursday, August 4 2011, 12:22pm. Viewed 919 times.

Laser Light Photography for Teens


In 1949, LIFE photographer Gjon Mili visited the artist Pablo Picasso in the south of France. He showed Picasso some images of ice skaters with lights fixed to their skates. The skaters were photographed in a darkened room and the lights trailed to the back of their skates like little comets. Inspired by these images, Picasso soon began work on his own series of photographs known as his “light drawings.” The drawings were made with a small flashlight in a dark room and ranged from faces to bulls, people, flowers, and abstract shapes.


Light photography, also known as light painting or light graffiti, is a photographic technique in which exposures are made at unusually long intervals. This is done by slowing down the shutter speed on the camera.  Basically, a camera is a lightproof box with a lens at one end and light sensitive medium at the other (film, digital card). Today we typically use digital cards, and then upload the images from the card to our computers. The light enters the lens and after a certain amount of time the image is recorded on the card, resulting in an exposure. The time it takes for the image to be recorded on the card is determined by the shutter speed.


The cool thing about digital cameras is that you can manually control the time it takes to record the image. It’s as easy as pressing a button or setting a dial. A short shutter speed is like pointing and shooting your cell phone. Click. Your picture is done. A longer shutter speed could take up to several seconds or minutes depending on how long you set it. If you’re crafty like Picasso, you could set the speed to 30 seconds, grab your flashlight, and start drawing in a darkened room. The camera will follow the movement of the light as it records the image. The result is whatever you want it to be. Draw hearts, stars, Pac-Man symbols, peace signs, or trace your friends’ silhouettes. Better yet, try “writing” your name or launching a fireball from your palm.


If this sounds like something that interests you, then come join us on August 13th in the Browning Room at Central. Experiment with light photography in an altered light room. It’s free and open to the public. Use black lights, glow sticks, flashlights, laser pointers, and other light sources to create interesting exposures. Be creative, bring some friends, and have fun. We hope to see you there!


Date and time:


light photography



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