The amazing power of light.

As always, if you’re viewing this in an email, please click the title of this post to see the blog, which offers a better viewing experience.


I’ve been light painting for almost 30 years, yet I’m still excited every time I make a photograph! Why? The process I developed back when I transitioned from light painting with film to light painting with digital (I call it “Sculpting with Light”), is absolutely transformative.

Said another way, I’m constantly delighted by how my lighting techniques, combined with my simple masking techniques (which are more akin to painting than to photography), completely change how we see the subject.

This is also interesting to me on a psychological level; when making a composition, we are seeing the subject under “normal” lighting conditions. The subject itself, in most cases, doesn’t thrill me to the level that it will after I apply my lighting techniques, and to an extent, my sculptural masking techniques. This actually makes it more difficult to compose an image.

We normally want to feel excited by the composition itself, and although this phenomenon also exists in “regular” photography, my Sculpting with Light process creates such a powerful transformation that we cannot really pre-visualize the result!

The problem is that one might be tempted to continue working on the composition (and in many cases this means putting more objects in the composition) until one gets excited, and this may never happen. Therefore, we can “overwork” the composition, wasting time and possibly making things too busy in an attempt to make a “perfect” image.

For this reason, I always do a preliminary light painted version of my composition before making a final decision on it. In fact, I do this very early on in the composition stage.

This is something I discuss in depth at each workshop that I teach.

To demonstrate this, I am going to show you some “before and after” images, which were shot as demonstrations at my workshops; images of the set that I made as I finished the composition (under “flat” room lighting), and the final image. In this way, one can see the changes that happen as a result of my process.

The easiest way for me to do this is by video, so please click on each video to see the transformation:

















To learn more about my workshops, click HERE.

And if you’re the spontaneous type, we just had a last minute cancellation for 1 spot for our upcoming workshop on Friday May 25th, 26th, and 27th, 2018. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Photography by Harold Ross


~ by Harold Ross on May 18, 2018.

4 Responses to “The amazing power of light.”

  1. Watching these photos morph into a work of art on a few quick seconds is quite fascinating. Thanks for showing them .

  2. Beautifully inspirational. Something I aspire to.Thanks

  3. Time and again, it is very clear how light influences the perception of things. Your photos demonstrate this in a perfect way. The light brings out the true soul of things. Sometimes this is also allowed in nature. When the sun is very low and a landscape is bathed in fascinating light, you can feel the crispness of the light.

  4. Excellent. Love your work painting with light. Keep looking forward to new postings.

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