Topographical Light Paintings Created by Tracing Entire Rooms with One LED

Helsinki, Finland-based photographer Janne Parviainen has been light painting since 2008, and recently created series of experimental photos showing a technique he calls Light Topography. Using a single LED light for each image, he carefully traces over every surface in the scene while the camera’s shutter is open. Fully tracing a room can take as long as half an hour. The resulting light outlines provide a trippy look at what each space contains.

Some of the photographs remind us of the movie The Matrix:

All the photographs in this series were done entirely in-camera, with no special CGI or trickery applied afterward. You can check out the rest of the images in this series in this Flickr set.

Light Topography by Janne Parviainen (via Colossal)

Image credits: Photographs by Janne Parviainen and used with permission

  • Evandro Guedes

    Wow! Very nice!!

  • Chris Popely

    I REALLY like these!

  • wickerprints

    The proper word in the title is “topographical,” not “topological.”

  • jackalope

    I bet soon someone will out do this by using two led’s…

  • Michael Zhang

    Thanks for pointing that out!

  • brandon

    that’s why i’m going to beat them by skipping to 3!

  • Matteo Domenico

    Amazing work, but it’s not always a single LED.
    In the second image, the padding betweem each line within a “set”, the perfectly identical angle of the curve, suggests that something like a strip led (with somewhat about 10 LEDs) has been used.

    Nevertheless, I really like his work :)

  • S1ON

    Great pictures – I tried something along the same lines a while back although never got a good image of the entire room so opted for the sofa option!


    There was one I’ve seen where someone attached an LED to his Roomba and let it run around the house. More “geometric” and less “organic” as these

  • Image Editing

    What can I say about your light photography that’s an amazing job at all . If possible to show a video for how to make them by a camera please give is as soon as possible .

  • clippingmaskasia

    very nice ,great post

  • Clipping Path Adroit

    Really very nice, like it.