Our light painting workshop explores the science behind photography by looking at the electromagnetic spectrum and how we can use it.
(not a Bond film)
However, visible light is just a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Infrared radiation and ultraviolet radiation are also electromagnetic waves. They are not detected by our eyes, but can still be very useful to us. Infrared radiation can penetrate some things that visible light cannot, so using an infrared camera we can see things that would otherwise be hidden:
A modern camera and the human eye work in similar ways, with even the structure of the eye relating to the parts of a camera; the lens, aperture (iris) and detector (retina). In the workshop, we look at some simple pinhole cameras and lenses before having a go at light painting.
Combine light painting techniques and stop-motion animation, and you can (with a huge amount of patience) produce something more like this:
If that looks like too much effort, you can automate the process to some extent using a phone or tablet app. One example is Holographium.
…but things are about to get easier. A company called Pixelstick have created a way to insert pictures and graphics into photos. They can even make time-lapse videos of moving images. The Pixelstick flashes up different sequences of light and as it moves in front of the camera they appear like a fully formed image. By taking a series of photos you can put them all together to make some amazing animations.