Long Exposure Photos of 80s Arcade Games

"Tempest 1" 2001 digital c print 4 ft x 6 ft.  image courtesy of the artist

“Tempest 1” 2001 digital c print 4 ft x 6 ft. image courtesy of the artist

What 1980’s arcade games lacked in resolution, they more than made up for with fantastic bright colors in-game as well as cabinet art.  Most people would be content to leave well enough alone, but Rosemarie Fiore decided to take it one step further and take long-exposure photos of some popular games.

Fiore in NYC arcade creating video game photographs

Fiore in NYC arcade creating video game photographs. Image courtesy of the artist.

The results seen above from Tempest and Gyruss are really incredible.  You can see her in the picture on the right with a tripod setup recording her game.  If you’re not familiar with these games, check out the two videos after the “read more” link. Continue reading

What is Light Graffiti?

I have written several articles involving light graffiti, but don’t really define what light graffiti is on this site.  I’ve shown it being done with a quadcopter, but what exactly is it really?

Light Graffiti is using a light source to create an image.  As I write in one of my first articles “defining” the subject:

“when you open up the shutter of your camera and draw an image with a light source, the camera records all light in front of it as if it happened at once.”

Stop the exposure, and you get whatever light was there between when everything started and stopped.  It’s as if all the light you moved around was there at one instant.  Once you somewhat understand what’s going on, check out a more practical guide to starting out, my beginner’s guide to “light painting,” as it’s also sometimes referred.

Zoomed Christmas tree light graffiti

Christmas tree zoom shot seen here

This technique is generally done with a camera that’s capable of varying the exposure time, like a DSLR (here’s mine from Amazon).  If you don’t have a DSLR, but do have a point-and-shoot Canon camera, you can “soup it up” to allow for this kind of advanced shooting using CHDK.

I also did an article on this subject for Hackaday.com, which is hopefully a good read, as well as Popular Science, which was really cool to see published.

Quadcopter Sparkler Light Graffiti

quadcopter sparkler light graffiti with sparklers

Add a moving light in front of your lens when taking a long exposure shot, and you get a “light graffiti” or “light painting effect.  Not satisfied with “normal” techniques, I tried a photo this using a quadcopter as shown in this post.  As fun as it was, adding fire to it in the form of a lit sparkler produced even more amazing effects.

In the above photo, you see the line of fire streaking into the sky, as well as my my Hubsan X4 quadcopter’s (Amazon) LED lights.  It’s hard to fly without them, but I did turn them off (by holding the “down” throttle trim) for a few of the shots.  This made it look cleaner, and the results as well as how I made it can be seen in the two videos after the “read more” link thing. Continue reading