Transforming Darkness with Light Painting Photography

Hannu Huhtamo uses light to make art out of the darkness in his photographs. He’s a light painter known for his work in Finland. Huhtamo uses flashlights and other sources of light to create glowing lines of artwork in his pieces. They’re long exposure photographs without any need for Photoshop or editing software. Great Big Story shows how he does it:

In Finland, there is a stretch during the winter called ‘polar night,’ which starts in December and lasts for about 50 days. The sun doesn’t rise above the horizon during this time, which greatly helps his work. The exposure times he uses change and can stretch from mere seconds to hours. He uses his light sources as brushes or pencils with his dark surroundings acting as the canvas to paint on. His work sometimes starts with a simple sketch to map things out. He then visits the location he wants to photograph and picks out details that he wants to emphasize in his work.

equipment gear painting

Although some of his settings might normally be considered dark or dangerous, Huhtamo uses the light to change the perspective of them and bring the darkness to life. In the end, the setting is viewed a lot differently than when it started as a dark, uninviting place.

long exposure camera lighting

“Darkness is the canvas and the light is my brush.”

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One response to “Transforming Darkness with Light Painting Photography”

  1. Wendy says:

    Wow. I’ve farted around with light painting, and I was lucky if two or three lines made the arc I wanted. To draw such complex shapes . . . just wow.

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