Dedicated to Light Painting Photography


Photo by Helen Walker

I live in Sydney, Australia.  My first job was as a photographer in the television industry.  I went on to direct TV documentaries and dramas for 30 years.  In the late 1990s I searched for a personal pursuit, something I could do just for myself, without the pressures and responsibilities of television production.

I returned to photography and began experimenting with “light painting”, using a small light source that I moved to illuminate objects during long time exposures. I was so encouraged by the results that I decided to concentrate on this photographic style.  And I’m still trying to perfect it!

Light painting is an opportunity for me to play.  In the studio, I create floral portraits with beautiful hand-picked blooms.  I strive to make the viewer look twice — to see the character of each flower.  On location, I often focus on trees — highlighting their strength and beauty.  I try to bring a little theatricality into my landscape light paintings, so there is a sense of anticipation, like the opening scene in a movie or a play.

Unlike many light painting photographers, I am not interested in revealing my light source or using coloured filters.  I am keen to use precise lighting that produces quality images with form and texture.  In my studio I use the remarkable Hosemaster Lighting Painting System.  For exterior scenes, I light with a MagLite torch (flashlight).

I choose to produce my light paintings on film using a medium format camera — Fuji GX680.  I am not opposed to digital technology — I use a DSLR and a compact all the time.  I just think film handles long exposures better than digital sensors and I also enjoy working with the beautiful Fuji lenses that comprise the GX system.  For me, long exposure photography is about precision and patience.   I find the work exhilarating and the resulting prints luminous.

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