Steel Wool and USB Light Graffiti Rig

Mears using his USB Light Graffiti Rig

If you want to create light graffiti, one of the most spectacular things you can do is create a flaming circle, or even an orb. Though these shots may look difficult, with the right equipment it’s not really that hard – just swing a light and/or steel wool around during a long exposure photograph.

But how to make your rig? Dale Mears wrote in with his solution, seen in the pictures below, and in his following explanation:

According to Mears you’ll need: Continue reading

Automatic Light Graffiti Laser Fixture Development

automatic light graffiti fixtureLight Graffiti is an art form that I’m a big fan of, and that’s been discussed here numerous times. If you’ve been following my work for quite a while, you might recognize the setup seen above, where a laser is mounted on a pan/tilt assembly. This laser is then moved and turned on and off in sequence to draw the simple image shown on a computer screen.

Unless you’ve been following my projects for quite a while, the sequence of events that led me to this contraption wouldn’t be easy to understand. To help explain everything, here’s my automatic light graffiti video. It takes you from the very basics of my light graffiti journey to a device that can draw an image by itself.

As neat as that is, these techniques, I think could be taken much further. Perhaps painting an entire building would be possible with the right laser setup, or maybe it could be combined with some other experimental camera setup. Who knows?

After posting this on Reddit, I found that I wasn’t the only one Continue reading

Thermal Leak Detector Long Exposure Photography

thermal long exposure photograph of a Crock Pot

A little over a year ago, DIYTripods featured a technique for taking heat-sensitive long exposure photos using a modified flashlight. The photographic process behind this is explained there. This gave me an idea that one could use a Black & Decker TLD100 Thermal Leak Detector (Amazon) without modification to do the same thing.

The unit functions pretty simply. You turn it on pointed at whatever you want to appear normal temperature-wise, and it displays green.  Point it at something cooler and it becomes blue; point it at something hotter and it becomes red.  To make an infrared image, photograph your target while slowly sweeping the red-green-blue beam across, and you have a crude infrared photograph. Between 25 and 30 seconds of exposure seems to work well for me.

The one thing that is kind of tricky is that the color transition isn’t instantaneous, but it’s not impossible to work around. In addition to what’s above, I’ve taken some other interesting photos using this technique, as seen after the “read more” link. Continue reading