Photographing since 1967 and self-taught, I started my craft learning to develop and print black and white and color film in a darkroom. I was an early adopter of digital in the mid 90’s and digital continues to be my medium today.
While my photography has been focused on travel, people, and landscapes, about ten years ago I discovered still life light painting but not in the way I do it today. I experimented both with still life objects as well as large outdoor scenes. I had many failures. I sought out other photographers who used light painting and participated in online training as well as in-person workshops to learn different processes. As a result, I’ve merged what I’ve learned with my vision. There are many forms of light painting that differ from what I now do. However, that research helped me narrow down the process I now employ. What triggered my interest was the different visual quality of an image that was light painted. There is a unique feel and depth that you don’t get with natural light or flash; and it was that quality I was after.
The Light Painting technique I use includes utilizing small light sources to paint light on still life compositions in complete darkness. Light painting has the ability to show the quality and play of light on objects. It can transform a common object into an object of beauty. Light Painting helps to create depth, color, texture and at times, illusion.
Each one of my images tells a different story. Some are simply the beauty of an item that may have been junk and some will tell the story of an activity or event. The story of each image can be up to the viewer. I am attempting to show the transformation of and appreciation for everyday common items simply by utilizing light.
I have been influenced by Renaissance artists such as Caravaggio and Dutch artists including Vermeer who masterfully utilized light. It is exhibited by the direction, contrast, and softness of the light including the control and placement of highlights and shadows both soft and warm. Light defines, hides and conceals as well as exposes what isn’t normally noticed in life, and Light Painting allows me to accomplish this challenge.