When I was a kid in England, one of my favorite times of year was Bonfire Night (more officially, Guy Fawkes Night), which occurs on 5 November. This celebrates the anniversary of a failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.

Light Graffiti (Click image to see a larger version — Image source: pixabay.com)

For a couple of weeks leading up to this occasion, my cousin Gillian and I would roam the streets and the local woods searching for wood and using it to build a big pile at the bottom of my Auntie Barbara and Uncle Nick’s garden. On the evening of 5 November, a bunch of family members and neighbors would meet up to light the bonfire and munch lots of food cooked by my aunt and my mother.

The adults would drink and let off fireworks with — on occasion — interesting results. We kids were allowed to light sparklers under adult supervision. I remember waving my sparkler around and drawing circles that seemed to float in the air due to persistence of vision.

The reason I mention this here is that, yesterday evening, I was reading the third 2019 issue of Nuts & Volts magazine. One of the articles was about building a LED-based Light Saber. As part of this, the author showed a photograph of the light saber being whirled around. This photograph had been taken with a long exposure, resulting in a somewhat psychedelic image.

As part of this, the author recommended looking up “Light Graffiti” (also known as “Light Painting”) on Google. When I did so, I was introduced to an unexpected world of light effects, including these amazing light constructs by Trevor Williams and this tutorial video by Jason Rinehart.


OMG! This is amazing. I’d never thought of taking this type of effect to this level. A couple of years ago, my wife (Gina the Gorgeous) gave me a really nice digital camera for Christmas. I bet it would be awesome for images like this. Now my head is buzzing with all sorts of thought and ideas, not the least that I have the song Blinded by the Light by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band rattling around my noggin.


If you are interested in seeing more of these creations, just perform searches for “Light Graffiti” and “Light Painting” on Google Images and YouTube. Also, it would be great if you could post links to the best offerings you find in the comments below.