"Light graffiti" exploits long exposures and swept light sources to create luminous, otherworldly shapes. I've wanted to explore the dazzling possibilities for a long time; this shoot for electro duo Disco Damage was the perfect opportunity.
All the special effects were captured in-camera. Digital trickery was limited to skin retouching, background cleanup and overall sweetening. By doing it this way I was forced to embrace mistakes and happy accidents. No two photos are the same. Ghostly half-images, flares and broken trails betray where Laura or Kristin moved. The element of chance added variety and interest.
Each photo is captured in two stages. First is the flash component: Upon triggering the shutter a short, sharp burst of light "freezes" the scene. However, the shutter does not close. Instead it remains open for a further five seconds, enough time to "paint in" the light trails.
Most people use bicycle lights and other common battery powered sources. I wanted something a little more unique though, so I decided to build my own lights from scratch using LEDs, strip-board and numerous electronic components. I was soldering until 3am, the same morning of the shoot...