David Gilliver - Light Photographer
David Gilliver is an artist with a difference.
By using long exposure photography, LED lights, Guernsey landmarks and a Nikon D800 camera, David has created some truly fantastic shots.
For his I Am Different project, David is making light paintings with abandoned German bunkers around Guernsey, including the German Military Underground Hospital and the Mirus Battery.
Here David explains what inspired him to use photography in this intriguing way.
What is light painting?
Light Paintings are created by fixing a camera to a tripod, and moving a light source around in the dark during a long exposure. The light source can be shone directly into the camera lens, or used from outside the photo frame to ‘paint’ the subject. The two most common examples that can be used to help explain the theory behind light paintings are sparklers, and car lights.
Most of you will have seen photographs of the light trails that car lights make during a long exposure taken at night. You will notice that in these photographs you do not see the cars, but only the lights that have been left behind as a result of the moving vehicles. This is exactly what is happening when you are light painting; you become the moving car, and the lights that you move around are what will end up becoming ‘frozen’ in the image at the end of the long exposure just like the trails left behind by a moving car.
Most of us have drawn our names in the night sky using a sparkler and for a brief moment, you can see the odd letter or two as you draw them if you move your hand quickly enough. We humans see things differently to how our cameras will after a long exposure. Although our eyes can see the sparkler drawing out letters in the air, a long exposure condenses time into a single frame, and this is the main principal behind long exposure photography and of course, light painting. A long exposure time allows the photographer to enter into the space that is being photographed during the exposure, and add to it using a light source: painting with light.
If you fancy trying out light painting, David offers workshops where you can learn the skills. Find out more on his website.
David has recently released an E-Book where the main aim is to try to save anyone who is new to Light Painting a heap of time by highlighting some of the key considerations that should be made such as:
Getting your head around Light Painting
"We take a closer look at the general concept of Light Painting: How does it work? What effects can you create?"
"I discuss the DSLR camera settings that work best"
Light Painting Tools
"We take a look at a variety of portable light sources and look at examples of Light Paintings that can be created using each of them"
Light Painting Creations (including ‘How to create the perfect Orb’)
"We take a closer look at several of the more popular forms of Light Painting: Orbs, Ribbons, Physiograms, Domes and Star Trails. I describe in complete detail with photographic illustrations and descriptions how you set about making each one. Every year I receive lots of emails from people asking me how I create my Orbs – this topic is covered in great detail"
The Full Monty
"Putting everything into practice – join me on a night photography Light Painting shoot where we look at the entire creative process from start to finish
I have not held anything back, as I wanted to share everything with you that I have learned over the past five years. This book is truly a labour of love and I hope you find it incredibly helpful."
Copies of the E-Book can be purchased from David's website.
All images © David Gilliver.