Mexican calligraffiti artist Said Dokins combines calligraphy writing with graffiti techniques to create public murals that address conflicts of power, destruction, and control imposed by both historic and contemporary regimes. His latest project, Heliographies of Memory, uses luminous tools to explore displaced memory, creating light paintings that use famous historic buildings or other iconic sites as temporary backdrops.
“‘Heliographies of Memory’ consist in a series of photographs that capture the calligraphic gesture, the very moment where the action of inscription is taking place,” said Dokins. “…The texts are written with light, so the words disappear as soon as they were suggested by the moves of the calligrapher, invisible to the simple eye, they just can be captured by a process of long-exposure photography, that reveal what happened, even though no one could see it.”
Utilizing a variety of light tools, Finland-based artist Hannu Huhtamo works in the dark to create these delightfully unusual light paintings. Appearing like alien flowers blooming in forests and abandoned buildings, each piece is created in-camera without the aid of Photoshop. Great Big Story recently met with Huhtamo to go behind-the-scenes and learn more about how he conceives and executes each photo in the video above.
Stephen Orlando (previously here and here) captures traces of movement through time, securing LED lights to rowing paddles and even violin bows. The result is a technicolor landscape—curved patterns hovering just above the water’s edge in his newest group of lake and ocean-side imagery. Recently the Canadian-based photographer has produced photos in his home province of Ontario, as well as around Newfoundland and next to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Floating Piers this summer in Italy. You can see more of Orlando’s time-based light experiments on his Instagram and Facebook.
We’ve long been fans of LA-based photographer Darren Pearson (previously) who heads out at night to create site-specific light sculptures using long-exposure photography. He mostly uses a device of his own creation called a Night Writer to illustrate almost all of the creatures you see here, from rainbow-hued dinosaurs swimming across lakes to his popular skeletons that were incorporated into a music video. You can follow his work day-to-day on Instagram.
NYC-based photographer Lucea Spinelli has a special appreciation for light and motion in her series of moving images titled Phōtosgraphé. She utilizes chairs, swing sets, and park benches as backdrops and props for luminous forms that seem to bounce effortlessly through the frame. In some pieces the light mimics the pathway of ghostly human figures while in others it sparkles like fireflies or expands like a rainbow. You can see more from the series here.
For his series of experimental photography titled Impermanent Sculptures, photographer Vitor Schietti worked with fireworks and long-exposure photography to illuminate the branches and stems of trees in his native Brazil. The photos are a mixture of in-camera light painting, and a bit of post-processing that can combine up to 12 shots into a final image. He shares with us about the project:
The series is the result of several years of research on long exposure photography, and the usage of ND filters was vital to find a perfect balance between the fading twilight and the brightness of the fireworks. Only a few attempts were allowed per day, since the time frame during which this balance is possible is very narrow (30 to 50 minutes). The Brazilian central plateau, in a kind of savanna called “Cerrado” was the scenery for most of these experimentations. The margins of the lake Paranoa, the streets and some iconic monuments from Brasilia were also locations for some of the light paintings. It’s important to say the series is an ongoing process, and more will follow in the coming year or so.