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


We proudly present our great winners! Congratulations for them, and huge thanks for all participants. This International Light Painting Award dedicated to International Year Of Light by UNESCO. We have to thank a lot for people, who make it possible: organizer JanLeonardo, Grand ILPA Jury and Artists Jury. Our great supporters Sony, Zeiss, Novoflex, Lucroit, Led Lenser, Manfrotto and Photokina.



Photokina Special Prize goes to Darren Pearson (USA). Darren's comment:

I'm excited and thankful to exhibit my work at Photokina! Special thanks to the artist jury, the wonderful sponsors, and most importantly fellow light-painters that entered the competition - it's great to see light-art evolve over the years!
I got involved with light-painting after seeing the 1949 image of Pablo Picasso illustrating with light (this was in 2007 for me) - the specific photo was 'Picasso draws a centaur' by Gjon Mili. I felt like I was looking into the future as I saw this image from the past. The concept was illustrating with light - it made me very curious - I wanted to illustrate with light in my own long exposure photos.
Fast-forward to today, and it's been 8 years of illustrating with light, still finding new challenges, still losing sleep!
I first began illustrating stick-figures and slowly progressed to line-drawings, then started with my skeletons, and moved on to more complicated subjects like dinosaurs, angels and animals in an attempt to keep myself challenged.
I will leave one piece of advice to fellow light-painters - challenge yourself constantly - you are your greatest competition.



1st place prize goes to Karin Brodowsky (Germany). Karin's comment: 

Dance and Light to compose. Movement to hold in an individuell moment is my mind.
This first place is a confirmation for my photographic way!! As I noticed this wonderful news I danced!!:)) This pic was made during a dress rehearsal, the light was strobing, and I only moved the camera.You can notice, it is not always necessary to exposure 1 min or longer, sometimes it need one second to get a worthwhile result :)




2nd place prize goes to Chris Bauer (USA). Chris's comment: 

Exploring for lava tubes/caves is one of my favorite hobbies, and where I became serious about light painting photography. I was experimenting in a cave on Mt St Helens with a small diamond plexiglass blade from Light Painting Brushes. I tried creating a "light man" with the plexi blade instead of the usual LED light pen I would normally use. I was very happy with the results, which had an icy look to it. I decided it would be best to create this character in one of the ice caves on Mt Adams to put it a fitting environment.
Later that week a trip was planned to go to the ice cave to create the image of the Yeti. When we arrived we were very disappointed to find very little ice in the lava tube due to the warm winter. In the past I had light painted here and the ice was amazing to see. We nearly left the cave but decided to try a shot since we had traveled so far. I found a nice composition with some ice features, and where I could light paint the character over a pool of water with ice floating in it for reflection.
Once the camera was set up I crawled out to the rock and motioned for Kristen to open the shutter. I used the plexi blade attached to a flashlight set on strobe. I move the blade back and fourth tracing over my body until I am completely covered then motion to Kristen to cover the lens so I can crawl out of the shot without falling in the water. Once I was behind the camera, I uncovered the lens and exposed the cave with the same flashlight. We only took one try at it since we were happy with the results.
Created- 4/15/2015
Camera- Nikon D7000
Lens- Nikon 18-200mm
Aperture- f/8
ISO speed- 100
Exposure time- 261 seconds





3rd place prize goes to Scott Ireson (Canada). Scotty's comment: 

I have been experimenting with light painting for about 15 years now. It started with abstract images using the camera toss style but through the years I have been playing with different ways of utilizing the medium. With light painting I found an obsession and it has by far been my favourite way to make art.
To talk about my winning piece, "Tiger", I first need to acknowledge Brian Matthew Hart for his innovation of creating composite light paintings.
When I saw his paintings of hands I was fascinated. After talking to Brian about his methods I tried it for myself and was hooked.
I played around with the method for a while before deciding to experiment further, adding my own touch. With my piece simply titled, "Parrot", I lit up my hands against a black background in order to construct the image. I like to call this technique finger light painting, although the process is more like using a stamp to create an image. While referring to a reference image I have cut up, I put my hand in place, light it up, move it to the next place it needs to be and repeat until that frame is done. Once I put all the images together I see how they line up, sometimes with a bit of cropping to help them along, and re-shoot frames that didn't work until I'm satisfied.
In my more recent works I have sought to build on my work with my hands by including other objects in order to play with different shapes and textures. It is a fun challenge to look around my house to find things to become "paint brushes". I hope to keep building on this mixed media approach to create unique and interesting light paintings.
The idea to do a tiger came from a request from a friend. When thinking about making it happen, immediately I was confronted by the issue of including both black and white in a light painting. I have light painted black in the past by using negative images but that would not work in this case. I thought back to a portrait of my girlfriend, Meghan, that I had done using the composite light painting style. In the piece her eyes are closed and I created the eyelashes by shining my light through a piece of clear plastic I had drawn on with a permanent marker. I needed something far more robust in order to do a full work with that method and eventually I settled on using a piece of Plexiglas and dry erase markers.
I initially shot downwards through the Plexiglas with it held horizontally but part way through making the piece I switched to shooting though it mounted vertically. Both ways had their pros and cons. I held my hand behind the Plexiglas and lit it from the side. This ultimately proved to be quite awkward and it was difficult to avoid creating too much glare on the Plexiglas. While I am very happy with how this light painting turned out, I don't think I'll ever make something quite like that again.




4th place prize goes to Bernhard Rauscher (Germany). Bernhard's comment: 

Concept phase:
I was asked by a German magazine (called Seestyle) in early 2015 to release some light paintings for their periodical art section. In a first meeting we figured out that it would be much more interesting to create a new series matching the theme of the magazine: Bavarian lakes. The idea was born and it turn out that I started to work on a whole series of light paintings triggered by that first request. Not only for the magazine but for my own portfolio as well. I called them lightlakes.
Then I created a story around the main theme: There is something living in the lakes! We all know those romantic shots of bavarian lakes and mountains - there had to be a whole new world of under water monsters, light spitting snakes and colorfull fireflies waking up at night when nobody sees them. One of my ideas was a scary light emitting monster living under water. 

Location check:
Living in Munich I know some of the lakes and nice views. On top of that a geographical search via flickr and google earth helped me to plan the best spots to shoot. I drove to the location at a clouded afternoon to check it out daytime and shoot nighttime. Markus Elf, a friend of mine joined me. We were lucky with the weather after all that it looked dramatic at night but didn’t rain. I took some iPhone pictures at daytime first (pls. check the e-mail attachment). 

Light painting shot:
To realize the underwater monster I got into the water myself with fishermans pants. I used a flashlight that could handle being under water, in this case the Klarus RS-11. It took me a couple tests and attempts to move the light during the long exposure the way I wanted it to look. First I thought I had to use a colored gel but it turned out that the water was muddy enough to give the light a nice color and visible light rays.
After finishing the underwater part I light painted the gras and the tree on the left with a LED Lenser P7 QC (colored light) in the same frame. Mother nature did the rest offering a nice and dramatic sky ;-) 

Results & challenges
I was surprised by the good result because it was somehow an experiment. I had a lot of other shots in my whole series that didn’t turn out the way I wanted of course.
Surprisingly the light painting wasn’t the only challenge down at the dark lake. There also were some drunken party people having a BBQ and being attracted by the funny lights they saw. I was really happy to team up with my buddy Markus to handle the situation and not ending up as a light jockey for their party at the lake :)




5th place prize goes to Frederic Leroux(France). Frederic's comment: 

This image has a small story ..
It was taken the day of Valentine's Day .. My wife was at work and to spend the time I went to take some pictures.
I went in my usual spot for take a pictures .
It had just rained, it was the end of the blue hour, I got a hurry to make some pictures with my favorite settings to be successful to have a beautiful blue sky.
When I got home, I did not pay attention to this image.
My wife back home we had dinner and I showed her this picture ..
She said it is a masterpiece !!!
I said him, you really think?
I have posted a few days later this photography on 500 px, and on LPWA Facebook ..
And met an incredible success ..
I did not think it could go as far !!!
Moral: always listen to women
if I had any advice to give to my friends lightpainter beginner.
That is to always think to work on the bottom of a lightpainting for a general harmony .. then we can improve the light.




6th place prize goes to Palateth(Belgium). Pala's comment: 

About this picture, it has been made during one of our Light Painting Thursday Nights, in a decayed marble factory. We were hanging around and when we have seen this big old electric panel, the idea of an electric blast has emerged quickly. We have first tried to do the electric blast with a blue EL Wire, but I was not really happy with the result. So we have decided to try with a blue gelled strobe inside a blast of flour. We had already made pictures with the flour blast technique in the past.
Once the exposure was starting, we were counting 1-2-3 and Nicolas (the model) was jumping in front of the panel, Jerome was throwing the flour through a hole into the panel towards Nicolas and I was triggering the bue gelled strobe from inside the hole towards the flour blast and the model. Just after the flour blast, we have lightened the electric panel with an orange gelled flashlight. That was not easy to be synchronized, of course, and we have tried 4 or 5 times. This one was the best combination.
Nicolas was very brave: he occasionnaly got a big burst of flour in his mouth/nose and he was covered of flour after each try, of course. We had big laughs each time the light was turned on after the exposure and we were able to see the "damages" on his clothes/hair/face.
- you have to ensure that your model is not allergic to gluten, because he will receive a lot of flour !
- chance has a big place in the flour blast pictures, so it's better to multiply the tries and to keep the best one at the end
- always get a flour pack in your LP bag. ;)



                                              Light Is Paint, Night Is Canvas!

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