Shooting stop motion animations or even timelapse can be difficult enough without adding something as already complex as light painting into the mix. Light painting just on its own can be something of a challenge when you’re trying to draw something for the camera over the course of a long exposure.
But for photographer Darren Pearson, it’s no bother at all. He excels at creating light painting animations, and we’ve featured him a couple of times before. She Lights the Night slipped by us when it was posted to YouTube a few months ago, but now we’ve seen it and we’re sharing it with you because it’s awesome. It was created using 1,012 individually light painted long exposures.
1,012 individual shots played back over around 2 minutes equates to about 8-10 frames per second, which seems to work very well for this kind of animation. You’re not looking for smooth 24 or 60fps motion like you are with video, and when you’re hand painting each individual frame, you’re not going to get it, either.
Light painting has a unique and variable quality to it that there’s no way you’re going to be able to easily create smooth motion from frame to frame without some kind of computerised motion control system. To be able to get the kind of repeatability shown in the above video takes a lot of time, effort and practice.
He doesn’t mention exactly what gear he used, but in a previous video, Darren did share how he makes his light painted skeletons for these types of animations.
With each frame potentially taking up to 2 minutes to create, that means this whole animation might’ve actually taken upwards of 33 hours to shoot. It might’ve taken a little less, as some short clips are repeated, but that’s only the footage that was kept. Who knows how much ended up being thrown away.
Very cool. What’s better than a light painted dancing skeleton?
You can check out more of Darren’s work over on his website.