Light Painting by Janne Parviainen

Helsinki-based artist Janne Parviainen creates these magical light paintings using a very long camera exposures.

"Light painting and light drawing are ways of photography where photo is manipulated with different kind of light sources while the camera is exposing on a long exposure time in a dark or lowly lit place. The idea of the light painting is that all photos should be straight from the camera, without any post editing such as Photoshop, etc."

"I discovered light painting photography through accident; I had forgotten long exposure mode on from my camera and noticed I can write with streetlights by moving the camera while it was exposing. Later I posted the photos to flickr and found the Light Junkies flickr group which inspired me to explore the medium further."

"By using these figures I can add more humane stories into my photos and alter the cultural, learned feelings they cause in the viewer of the photo."

"What interests me most in light painting is the ability to draw in three dimensional space and the possibility to alter the reality without post processing programs. I like to use in my photos different kind of figures such as skeletons and ghostly light creatures. By using these figures I can add more humane stories into my photos and alter the cultural learned feelings they cause in the viewer of the photo. I especially like to use the skeleton figure because of it’s strong pre-learned emotional concept and place it in totally different situations and emotional stages than in which it’s usually seen in popular culture.”

"Light painting is the most liberating form of art I have encountered; it sums up so many good things in one package that I could never let go of it anymore!"

"My favorite time to light paint varies a lot; on the summer time it is so bright in Finland that the only time it is possible is from around 2 am to 5 am, but those hours really are magical! In the winter time I usually am light painting from around 6pm to 11pm."

"I really enjoy shooting in abandoned places, urban exploration is very addicting!"

"My favorite place to shoot is an abandoned mansion forest in the outskirts of Helsinki called Kruunuvuori. It is a really creepy looking old forest with 7 huge abandoned and halfly collapsed mansions that look like straight out of a horror movie! It’s a magical and an inspiring place!"

"The exposure times used in light painting vary from few seconds to hours, depending on the desired effect. Often used tools for light painting are flashlights, colored flashes, led sticks, el wire (battery operated led wire), battery operated Christmas lights, childrens’ light toys such as light swords etc, or tools specially built for light painting."

"Colored flashes and flashlights are easy to make by placing different kind of colored gels on them. Colored flashes and flashlights are great for lighting up the scenery when taking photos in the dark, or just highlighting certain areas in the photo. By moving led sticks, flashlights and other light sources in the photos’ area while the camera is exposing it is possible to create different kind of shapes and effects."

"When light painting it is recommended to use a tripod, or to place the camera on a steady ground since in long exposure times undesired trembling of the camera can easily ruin the photo. Even though camera’s light sensitivity raises when using higher ISO-characters, a small ISO-number guarantees a better photo quality when taking photos in the dark."

"Camera’s aperture figure is good to set according to the scenery’s overall lighting and to the brightness of the light tool used; In a low lit space and when using dimmer lights a small aperture figure works best, where as in a brighter space and when using powerful lights a bigger aperture figure is needed. When choosing for the correct aperture figure it is good to remember that even a very low lit scenery will turn out to be quite bright in the final picture when using long exposure times. A Bulb switch is a good purchase when wanting longer exposure times than the usual 30 seconds in the most DSLR cameras. In the dark it’s of great help to use a bright flashlight when focusing, also you can use camera’s autofocus with the flash and then locking the focus or turn the focus on manual witch has the same effect."

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