Light-Painted Shapes and Long Exposure Landscapes

martin kimbell

Photographer Martin Kimbell is quite adept in the handling of light and image-capture technology to generate astonishing pictures. His skill is on display in his recently shot light-paintings, where funnels of light of twisting in the dark seem to gush out from the ground or shoot down from the sky. He uses LED light to create the illusions.

martin kimbell light painting

One would think Kimbell attaches his LEDs to a remote-controlled device that can fly like a drone in order to create his light funnels, but there is nothing fancy involved. He simply attaches the light to a hoop which is then thrown into the air. As it spins, the long-exposure camera settings capture its movement. Rather low-tech stuff, but with amazing results nonetheless, which comes to show everyone how a little ingenuity can yield superb results.

martin kimbell light painting long exposure

Kimbell drew inspiration from the work of Arizona-based photographer Stu Jenks who used fire and light to make similar tornado-like funnel images. Kimbell’s images include an extensive ribbon of white lights, which linger among some trees, and several twister-like funnels that extend from the sky all the way to the ground.

long exposure martin kimbell light painting

Most of these are shot against striking landscapes in tranquil countryside areas across the UK, like in Dartmoor and Leicestershire. Kimbell recently spoke about his fascination for the technique. “What I love about light painting is that it gives me a level of control and creative freedom which is rare in most forms of photography. Through the adding of different light patterns, or by illuminating it differently, I can completely transform the scene.”

martin kimbell light painting long exposure photography

The longest duration it takes Kimbell to produce one of his long exposure images is around one hour. The shortest time on the other hand can take as short as 30 seconds. “The times can greatly vary. The light patterns themselves do not typically take a great deal of time, but illuminating and exposing the rest of the scene can.” Regardless of how long or short it takes, Kimbell’s work is unquestionably brilliant visually.

long exposure photography martin kimbell light painting

long exposure photography martin kimbell light painting

See his light-paintings along with his other works at his website.

Learn how to light-paint like a pro! This ebook and video tutorial covers everything you need to know on capturing those beautiful illuminated long exposure photos you have been dreaming about. Learn More


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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.