Advanced Techniques and Process 2A – Final Proposal

Olivia Bates
Painting with light

Signatures are a form of identity, written identity. Used as a way to sign your name to a document. No one has the same signature as another person. They are all different, some are long, short, abbreviates, a swirl of the pen ect. We can gather information from a persons signature just like we can gather information from a persons portrait, another form of identity, visible identity.

Within this non-daylight brief i am required to produce a series of images using any means of artificial light. I will produce a series of portraits using light painting in order to create fine art photographs. These fine art photographs will be made up of a portrait of a person signing their signature with a required light source (glow stick/sparkler) which will allow me to capture the technique of painting with light.  This technique has been used since 1889. (Also known as light painting) It began as a way to study movement by Etienne-Jules Marey and George Demeny and his been transformed in to an art form by artists such as Mon Ray and Gjon Mili.
‘Marey and Demeny developed several photographic techniques to study the movements of everything from humans to horses’ 

I will be photographing models signing their signature with the light sources (glow sticks/sparklers) which will allow me to explore the techniques used within night photography and using long exposures. This brief will be based both indoors and outdoors. I will be photographing a model using both light sources and comparing the difference between to two techniques used. This brief will require me to have contact with potential models for my photographs. Access to the light sources. Location finding. Sufficient equipment to photograph these ideas both technically and aesthetically. I will also be researching in to light painting techniques and experimenting with different exposure lengths and analysing the best exposure for my images. As well as this i will be researching Photographers who paint with light and analyse their work in order to see the techniques they use and how it affects the overall composer of the image.

‘The first artist to explore the technique of light painting was Man Ray.’ He was an artist who created a series of work ‘space writing’ by taking self-portraits whilst painting with light. ‘He opened the shutter of his camera and used a small penlight to create a series of swirls and lines in the air’. However in 2009 photographer Helen Carey discovered they were not random drawings it was his signature.

Man Rays work has inspired me for this project. I want to create a series of images which intrigue the audience. Make them question the concept of my image; who that person is? What are they doing? Why are they doing it? Make them question the identity of the subject.

In order to create these images I will shoot using my DSLR, a tripod and shutter release trigger. This will allow me to experiment/shoot with long exposures and avoid camera shake. I will set my shoots in both indoor and outdoor locations which will also allow me to experiment with other light sources influencing my photos. I will be shooting in a RAW file format and also in colour however may shoot in black and white depending on contrast of colour and light sources.

Whilst shooting there are many factors I must take in to consideration in order to comprehend the problems I may have to resolve. As I am shooting with sparklers I must (word here) health and safety issues that regard the safety of my model, myself and the surroundings. It will require me to have safety plans set so that none of us are put at risk through my shoots. Other factors which I have to take in to account are weather conditions due to the time of year, therefore I must be able to access to both indoor and outdoor location whereby I want to shoot. Timing for shoot is highly important. I need to make sure I have enough time planned for each shoot and enough time with each model as exposure lengths could vary within shoots depending on light source used, other light influences within the images and the length of the signatures. As well as these factors I also want to capture my model within the images therefore I need to exposed my light source and model correctly which will involve me to experiment which will take time and also research in to different techniques.

This series of photographs could potentially reach out to a number of different audiences; galleries (public art), magazines (editorial piece), Advertising Campaigns (banks/safety) Therefore the section of society which could view my work would be vast. The age range could be 5+.

Reference source;



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Olivia Bates

My aim is to delve in to the alliance between fashion and people so I can explore the link between the subjects in order to communicate my image I have the ability to approach any difficult situation and solve any problems to find resolutions in order to work efficiently. I can manage situations, communicate honestly and have a trustworthy manner as I am expressive and take no nonsense which allows me to get the job done. Please contact me at; and visit my website;

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