Thursday, October 25, 2007

Light Graffiti: The Newest Trend In The Art Community Will Surely Be Overused - But It's Cool!

It's the newest trend in street art. You've seen the commercial and variations of it so many times, I'm sure, if you're like me, you said to yourself, "How the hell is that done?" Most people think it's computer generated (CG), but it's not. This Sprint commercial employs an awesome flashlight-painting stop motion animation. Basically, if the artist chose to do it the real way without CG, they used a flashlight to draw each frame of the stop motion animation during a long exposure shot. It had to have taken days to accomplish, and, I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of coordination that was necessary to pull it off. This YouTube video will give you a "behind the scenes" look on how it was done!

The newest trend in graffiti art is simple, unique and leaves no mess or trace at all behind. Light graffiti is made from different types of light sources and time-lapse photography and allows artists to create things they would never be able draw in a style they would never be able to with just spray-paint. And there is no vandalism involved.

In order to make light graffiti all you need is an assortment of lights, such as flashlights, biking lights, glowsticks, blinking LED lights and anything else that works with batteries. You can also use lights that plug in, but then you are limited to where you can go and don't have the mobility of battery powered lights.. Fireworks and torches also work well. Experiment with different lights and reflecting lights off things to see what results you like best.

For the best results you should use a tripod when taking pictures. The exposure on your camera should be set at somewhere between 10 and 30 seconds, but can be as long as you need to get the effect you want. Set the camera to iso100 and close the aperture as much as you can.

By standing in front of the camera and moving around a lot while creating their art, light graffiti artists become nothing more than just a ghost like blur, if they are even caught at all on the film. Wherever the light is moved a streak of light is created that will show up in the photo later. Artists write words, draw cartoons, turn various objects into monsters and much more. All using nothing more than light.

Any thing, person or place can become part of light graffiti, because it only takes a minute. The artist can choose to let himself be seen in the photo and interact with his art instead of staying hidden, or can use other people. Light graffiti might not have the same physical presence of conventional graffiti but is similar to tagging something and having it be removed the next day. It is only there in photos. A big difference is that no one complains about light graffiti because no one knows it existed. Once the light has faded only the people who see the photos will know it was ever there.

You don't have to be an artist to create light graffiti. The only thing you really need to know to create your own light masterpieces is how to experiment. And I'm sure by the time you're done reading this, it'll be so damn overused that we'll move on to the next creative trend. Our lawmakers will then create a law to requiring you to show your ID beofre purchasing a lightstick. Kids will start huffing it and snorting it. Then we'll be back to just spraypaint and clean walls. Isn't life grand?

Light Grafitti Pictures by Lichftaktor -