Light Painting World Alliance - Light is Paint, Night is Canvas

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For this event, we did not make too much videos – schedules were so busy and Miss Fortune gave us a lot of hard tests - so please enjoy our photos :) All images are clickable!

We started to prepare for this event in May 2016. Most important was to select the location which could fit our artistic needs. We discussed more than 10 locations in USA, and Hobgoblin’s Playground (Gold Butte, Nevada) was the best! Because of a few reasons: no entrance control; not too many visitors; not too big objects on site, perfectly suitable for lighting. Close to the date, we discovered, that there could be other visitors on site: rattlesnakes, gila monsters, tarantulas, scorpions, coyotes and even… cougars! Nice company! Especially in the night :) Nevertheless, many artists came to this area, one of the last places that is truly the Wild West, and made this event unforgettable!


The location had extremely difficult accessible over the last few miles – no roads, no traffic signs, no police to show us the direction :) Pure desert with rocks. Some cars were damaged while going to and from the event location (several flat tires, torn off bumpers, and damaged exhaust and fuel pipes and tanks). But all difficulties were justified with the beauty of this place!


For the event we produced and widely discussed at least two ideas for collaboration artworks: a) Old Spanish Trail and b) Light River. Both required some specific materials and accessories, which were ordered and delivered to location by Marisa Bisping, David Hull and Chris Bauer.

1st night was for Light River project. The idea of Light River was to illustrate the importance of water in human’s life. Water, flowing through the empty and desiccated canyon – as symbol of all water reservoirs on the Earth. Chris Bauer was lucky to arrive 2 days before, and he discovered nice locations for both projects. We used foil emergency blankets and plastic tarps, attached to long sticks, walking along the canyon and lit these reflecting/refracting materials by torches. Because the canyon wasn’t a smooth and glamourous road (on the contrary – it was extremely hard to walk due cactuses and other sharp plants, loose dirt and rocks, and yes, even MUD), our “flowing” group during the first takes mostly worried about not stepping on cactus (or even a snake!  … But for the last takes, all strongly remember every cactus/stone/snake on their way, thus going almost freely and smooth :)  Dan was responsible for lighting the rock in the far left corner, and of course, he can’t see how his light beam laid down in frame – so, I had managed him standing behind camera. My screams “Dan, left! Ooops… Dan, right!” sometimes were recognized by “flowing” group as direct commands for them… Thus, we’ve got nice curves in resulting flow  :)   We spent about 1 hour for proper camera & tools settings, then 2 more hours for 5 takes. Last take was perfect!

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Credits for Light River:
Location supervisors David Hull, Chris Bauer and Marisa Bisping (all USA).
Special thanks to David Hull and Chris Bauer for technical and creative support.
Light painters: Matthew Scherfenberg,  David Hull, Chris Bauer, Bill Burk, Andrius Sprindys (all USA), Dan Whitaker (UK),  Derek Lawrence (Canada).
Camera control: Sergey Churkin (Russia), Chris Bauer, Kristen Schlecht, Todd Blaisdell (all USA).
Creative idea and direction by Sergey Churkin (Russia).

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2nd night was for Old Spanish Trail project. The Old Spanish National Historic Trail links Santa Fe and Los Angeles across six states and 2,700 miles.  It traverses red rock mesas, passes below snow-capped peaks, and fords untamed rivers, avoiding the immense depths of the Grand Canyon and skirting the continent’s harshest deserts. Millions of people followed this trail since early 1600s in hope of a better future. This way wasn’t easy and safe, but new land attracts by its natural treasure. To tribute this living road, we tried to create epic light painting image, which could be called “People Bring Their Light to California” – or shorter “Bringing Light to LA”. Hobgoblin’s Playground is situated exactly along the Old Spanish Historic Trail; thus, we literally should return back in time to 1680.


“LA SUV” was damaged while overcoming the rocky desert the night before the first collab; thus, all it’s team coming from Los Angeles unfortunately was absent on site while making Light River (Alfredo Alvarez, Sfhir, Fernando, and Roy Wang). The day after, the “LA car” was replaced with a new larger SUV, and the “LA team” was convinced to try again and arrived on location in full list – and we got great support!

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For making light wagons, we constructed plastic tube/aluminium wire models and outlined the main curves by torches. Bulls and walkers were made with freestyle light writing. After making the first wagon, we moved it to next position and outlined again. Thus, we’ve got our wagons as 3D figures, following trail from one side of frame to another. For making wagon model and camera & tools set up we spent about 3 hours, then about 2 hours for another 5 takes. Last one was nice!

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Credits for Old Spanish Trail:
Location supervisors David Hull, Chris Bauer and Marisa Bisping (all USA).
Special thanks to David Hull (USA) and Alfredo Alvarez (Spain) for technical and creative support.
Light painters: David Hull, Chris Bauer, Bill Burk, Christina Vasquez,  Marisa Bisping (all USA), Dan Whitaker (UK), Derek Lawrence (Canada), Alfredo Alvarez and Sfhir (both Spain), Roy Wang (China), Ivan Fodor (Slovakia), Sergey Churkin (Russia).
Camera control: Chris Bauer, Kristen Schlecht, Andrius Sprindys (all USA), Ivan Fodor (Slovakia).
Creative idea and direction by Sergey Churkin (Russia).

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Bill Burk (Washington): “It was a pleasure to meet you and so many great people! Thank you for your dedication, planning and facilitating of this wonderful collaboration event! I look forward to the next time.”
Todd Blaisdell (Alaska): “This is a group that makes it worth traveling 9,000 miles in 6 days to spend 6 hours running around in the dark with a dozen other people. Hobgoblins was a collaborative effort with like minded individuals and a great chance to meet fellow light painters. A collaboration of this size and effort takes a lot of work and dedication and this team has huge amounts of both! Glad to be a part of it.”
Sergey Churkin (Russia): “All together we prove that our power of artistic impression could rise a lot when we collaborate. Now it’s clear - we could solve any non-before-solved creative tasks. The Alliance will continue to do such massive art contribution into the light painting art promotion.”

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Chris Bauer (Washington) "The 2016 LPWA Nevada collaboration was a great personal experience for me. Having the opportunity to meet friends and fellow light painters from all around the world was simply amazing. I have never been to the Mojave Desert so I was very excited to see the event was being held in a beautiful outdoor location under full moonlight. It was a pleasure to meet everyone and collaborate together. I left the collaboration very happy, and inspired. I will be looking forward to future LPWA events."
Christina Vasquez (Louisiana) "Perfect time of year to be at that location with the luminescence of the supermoon. Gorgeous terrain and landscape; provided plenty of photo opportunities.4WD was suggested, but this may need to be stressed more.  Thoroughly enjoyed my time out there and collaborating with everyone. No regrets."

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Hobgoblin’s Playground area is an absolutely unique place, rich with brilliant spots for regular and light painting shooting! 9 miles long and 2 wide, it consists of hundreds of amazing natural stone sculptures and rocks. It seems to me, we definitely will return here for another LPWA massive collab! Stay tuned :)

LPWA Nevada Meet-up 2016 complete list of participants:
Sergey & Natalia Churkin (Russia); Dan Whitaker (UK); Derek Lawrence (Canada); Roy Wang (China);
Alfredo Alvarez, Sfhir, Fernando Heras Castan – all Spain; David Hull, Christina Vasquez, Andrius Sprindys, Todd Blaisdell, Chris Bauer, Kristen Schlecht, Bill Burk, Heather Marie, Marisa Bisping + Nathan, Brooke LaBrie, Matthew Scherfenberg – all USA, Ivan Fodor (Slovakia).
Very special thanks to those who made this event possible:
David Hull – snake & road manager, creative supporter
Chris Bauer – location explorer, creative supporter
Christina Vasquez – crazy driver & Lucy’s friend
Marisa Bisping – location & tubes manager
Todd Blaisdell – creative supporter
Huge thanks for everyone who comes for making warm atmosphere and friendly vibes!!!!

Here is group photo after Old Spanish Trail was finished, from left to right:
upper row David Hull, Dan Whitaker, Sergey Churkin, Chris Bauer, Bill Burk, Christina Vasquez and Andrius Sprindys; lower row Ivan Fodor, Alfredo Alvarez, Sfhir and Roy Wang.


Please, feel free to visit our dedicated Facebook album, see more photos and post more comments. GoPro video by Chris Bauer will explode your brain!
Welcome to next LPWA events.

Sincerely yours Sergey

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