Stop-Motion Short Made from Hundreds of Long Exposure Light-Painted Photographs

Darren Pearson’s still frame light paintings are impressive enough on their own. He uses flashlights in the dark to sketch out intricate figures. The forms he paints–angels, dinosaurs, aliens, sea creatures, and skeletons–are difficult for most of us to draw with pencil and paper, let alone with beams of light. Take a look at what happens when he goes beyond single still frames and creates a stop motion short film with his light paintings:

The film about a skateboarding skeleton, entitled “Light Goes On,” is a compilation of over 720 frames. Photoshop manipulation did not come into play; Pearson light painted each image individually, a process which took more than a year to complete.




The method by Darren Pearson is tedious, but his tools are simple: a DSLR camera capable of long exposures, a tripod, and mini LED flashlights are all he needs to make his works of art. In a tutorial on his website, he demonstrates his process by creating a simple smiley face with a 10-second exposure in a darkened room.

Though Pearson’s how-to video makes light painting look easy, anyone who’s ever experimented with the genre knows how difficult and time-consuming it can be, especially when done in large quantities that require such precision. There’s no doubt that this photographer’s levels of patience and talent are phenomenal.

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