An example of light painting.

An example of light painting.

Creston photographer offering light painting demonstration

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Local photographer Jeff Banman of Jeff’s Photos ’n Motion will be demonstrating the technique of light painting on Aug. 31 at the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce at 1, 1:30 and 2 p.m. There is no cost.

Light painting is a photographic technique in which images, made generally at night or in a darkened room, are created by moving a handheld light source or by moving the camera itself. Using a slow shutter speed and by moving various light sources, the light can be used to selectively illuminate parts of the subject or to “paint” a picture by shining directly into the lens. Though it can be traced back to the turn of the century, and was made popular by Man Ray in the 1930s, the technique has become accessible today to anyone with a digital camera.

Light painting is surprisingly easy to experiment with and achieve breathtaking results, giving the amateur photographer enormous creative freedom without having to master a complicated technique. It is more a question of unbridled creativity than anything else and with a few simple household items — flashlights, birthday sparklers or a spinning whisk filled with burning steel wool — the photographer can create cascading waterfalls of light, illuminated fairy wings or graffiti in the sky.

Light painting allows for that frenetic energy that often accompanies the creative process. Above all, it brings out that childhood sense of wonder we too soon forget.