Interview with Creative Light Painting Photographer, Vincent Delesvaux
How did you begin with your light painting pictures?
My story with light painting began in Spain in 2008, with a traveller friend named Yohann Labaye who I met in Granada and who showed me the possibilities of drawing with lights in long exposure. I always like to draw and connect with my world, escaping from reality for a while. I’ve done some experiments with one flashlight, learning how to find the right exposure settings, how to illuminate a scene and people, while starting to draw.
After a while I started to light paint machines (old cars, trucks, diggers…) and being more involved in what I was doing. I began looking for new locations and creating entire series’ with them. I have done a lot of LP stuff in closed spaces like at home or in the studio, since it’s easier to learn in it and you don’t need anything more than darkness and light. But you know, after a while you need to get your creations out to give them more significance.
Did you have anyone mentor you? Are you mentoring someone?
I couldn’t say that I had someone mentor me, but I’ve learned by watching other light painters’ works. I admire TCB – Dana Maltby – and also Jan Leonardo Wollert, Darren Pearson, Patrick Rochon, Led Eddie, Lichtfactor, Dennis Calvert, Brian Hart, El Nino de las luces, Swit, Julien Breton, Cisco, Lightgraff.org… So many pictures I like.
I learned from Quentin Bischoff a lot, as I always like the way he does LP. Working with our bodies is an approach we have in common. Also Jadikan taught me stuff last year and I’ve spent times with him speaking and seeing how he works and the way he thinks about the light painting movement. That guy is always experimenting with new lights, new mediums (film, stop motion…). I always learn things when I do LP with other people. I was doing workshops in my town, and working with kids was a great experience. Everyone has a different energy and way to move, no one does the same thing but everything works in a way. The main job of the photographer after shooting is to choose what to show.
Can you share with us a typical light painting session?
A typical LP session starts by finding a place you like that makes you feel something after connecting with it. Adjusting the frame, putting the tripod, choosing the tools to use and the way to interact with the space. A typical LP session is adjusting the right intensity of your tools as you want them and choosing your colors. It’s photography and drawing: and active long exposure photography.
A typical LP session is a lot of tries, a lot of tries that improves the final results. A typical LP session is trial and repetition. You’re creating an atmosphere with light that you control. I like to work with hands to create my effects in order to have that dirty raw human result that gives me a feeling of real energy – or at least feels real to me.
In the scheme of your entire body of work, how important is the light painting portfolio?
I adore taking street pictures and travel for that, discovering Asia and interacting with what I see and touch. I also work in an agency that specializes in portraits of local producers and I really enjoy it. I like to discover places and people, and catching the best from it. Photography helps me to travel, to change my day-to-day learning about life and of myself. I’m glad to play with reality and to see so many things.
My LP pictures are more personal, drawing and interactions with space are a bit different. It’s nighttime, feelings are more exciting, peaceful or weird depending on the place, or yourself. I enjoy LP photography a lot because it permits me to disturb, twist, mix and capture parts of what we see or not. It permits me to focus on something, to perfect my attention to details. The feeling of working at night, alone in an abandoned temple of the XII century is great whatever the result. It is also the same for old factories. I like to jump on cars and give them life. I can show images of my personal feelings through my movements. I also like to dance like crazy when I feel happy. LP gives me the opportunity of controlling it all and to create my own world, I can put everything I want in here – it’s all mine.
You have distinct themes in your light painting images. What forthcoming ones can we expect?
I would like to continue with the different themes. I have drawings in one line, twisted body expression, and I found peace giving life to inanimate things. I intend to continue to play and show the magic of some places.
Actually I’m working on self portraits, mixing different shapes and attitudes to show the possibility of meanings of oneself. Portraits and expression impress me a lot. I expect to work more with models in the next years, to do what I’ve learned by practicing alone with them and involving more people on my messages. Also I want to do more images about visions, working in special places and twisting them hard or showing the beauty of things.
From where did you derive your artist name, ‘Diliz’?
There is a different story for my artist name. It came first from a contraction of my last name – Delesvaux – Deles – Diliz. I’d also like the idea of someone diligent, and was thinking of Dilizign for some graphics work. But light painting caught me and I’d prefer work with something shorter and faster to draw and easier to pronounce. I like the fact that there is a “z” at the end like the last letter in the Latin alphabet. It also makes me think of some weird night insect – that I am one too.
You have a varied and diverse portfolio. What more can we expect from your other photography work?
I work with impulse according to the moment, the way I feel, the things I live and the people I meet. I’m taking pictures of local producers in France and I want to continue with that (www.producteurs.weebly.com). It’s challenging and gives me the opportunity to meet a lot of people and go to different places. Also travel pictures interest me, landscapes and images of the human being. I’m interested in humanist photography which also has links with what I’m living (www.fruitsduhasard.weebly.com)
Is there anyone/anything you would like to photograph, but cannot ?
I would like to do nude but I don’t have the right idea right now. Also doing big crazy pictures involving a lot of people scares me a bit. I like to work alone for the moment but I feel limited by that. I need to get more confident even if things are getting better. Angkor in Cambodia is a really crazy location but hard to get to at night and to capture.
I would like to do LP down the sea in that aquatic world where it should be amazing.
Where do you see the art of light painting in 5 years?
I see it established and recognized by the main art photographic scene. I see it in galleries, in great exhibitions, I see workshops by masters, I see new tools for it and an incredible number of light painting artists growing and discovering new ways to build images. I see it everywhere as a new way to express one’s self as a lot of people are doing now. Light Painting World Alliance developed by Sergey Churkin is doing a lot for the movement with a world exhibition around the world (www.lpwalliance.com). Also light painting photography.com created by Jason Page is working for the LP movement. (www.lightpaintingphotography.com)
I invite you to watch those websites.
What is your favorite gear set-up?
My favorite gear set-up today is a 24-70mm on my Nikon D800, two strong flashlights and one smaller, some colors gels, a lot of sparkles and my hands and ideas. I need to travel and to read for creativity – which is the most important.
I am a French traveller and photographer. I explore long exposure photography and the technique of light painting. I am interested in the control of gestures, in the subconscious and its relationship with reality. I like sculpturing spaces, going into the intimacy of places and peoples and revealing the invisible.
The bright movement for me serves as a bridge between the infinity of possibilities and the visible. It is this moment that I photograph. I divide my time between commercial works, workshops, events and personal research.
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