On Tuesday evening we’re running out first indoor Light Painting Workshop at the AE Harris warehouse venue in the Jewellery Quarter. The plan is to investigate what sort of images it’s possible to create by shining lights at a camera on a long exposure.

There’s a very good chance you’ve done something similar to this yourself – writing your name in the dark with a sparkler, for example, uses the same principles: the bright light leaves a temporary after image in your eyes allowing you to create shapes. We’re going to do the same sort of thing, only using cameras and a lot more control.

Since this is our first workshop we’re expecting to see a lot of inspirational experimenting as ideas bounce around and we encourage you to bring your own light emitting devices, but we will be bringing plenty of tools and tricks to start things off.

Yesterday, inspired by this photo, I had a go at making a Light Stencil. The principle is the same as a graffiti stencil like Banksy and chums use. A shape is cut in cardboard and positioned in space and light is “sprayed” into it. To hold the light in one place a piece of opaque paper acts as a screen. Using a flashgun on a low setting (so it doesn’t need long to recharge) we can spray lots of these shapes within a 30 second exposure.

Here’s the stencil I made.

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And here’s a photo with it sprayed around Fiona on the sofa (with a couple of standard flash-gun blasts on her at the end).

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This was very much a test. The stencil is basic and the photo was done after a few beers, but the principle is sound. Imagine what you could do with some artistic skill, care and attention.

If you want to make your own here’s a tutorial I put together:

And if you need inspiration for stencils and what to painting with them, the Light Stencils Flickr Group has loads.

Of course, that’s not the only thing we’ll be doing on Tuesday. There’ll be torches on string to wave around your head, LEDs on sticks for parallel lines, flash guns and spotlights and I’ve just had an notion to turn the digital projector into a strobe light…

The workshop is on Tuesday 19th from 7-9pm. Tickets are £35 (discounts for bulk).
Book your place here.