We’ve featured the work of Eric Paré, Patrick Rochon and Timecode Lab before. Using a 24 DSLR fully circular bullet time rig developed by Rochon, Paré and Timecode put together some really cool light-painting projects. One of these was LightSpin: an art project that captured dancers using an awe-inspiring combination of light painting, bullet time and stop motion.
In the past we had only a few behind the scenes details to share with you. Fortunately, Paré recently decided to release the 8 minute “documentary” above in order to explain exactly what all goes into shooting his creations.
Combining stop motion, bullet time and light painting wasn’t something that Paré could exactly look up in any old photography book. He was doing something new and, as such, had to rely on “intuition and constraints” to guide him.
Each dance is performed in pitch darkness lit only by the pulsating light from Paré’s neutral density filter-covered flashlight. As he moves the flashlight around the dancer (making sure to stay out of the way of his rig) the cameras take one 1-second exposure every two seconds. This allows to dancers to fall into a rhythm, moving ever-so-slowly through their improvised routine.
Because of the pace at which the exposures are shot, a couple of seconds of stop-motion takes five minutes to shoot! The longest clip they shot was only seven seconds long, but took a full eighteen minutes to capture from start to finish.
Between the many dancers he photographed, and the sheer number of exposures required per dancer, the cameras were triggered more than 20,000 times, yielding over half a million images to sift through and process.
Even the rig takes a full eight hours to assemble and calibrate from start to finish, and an hour to break down once the day’s shooting is done. That’s a lot of hours spent in prep, but the results — seen both at the top and in the video below — seem to be worth it.
To see more LightSpin creations — including some interactive photos of dancers frozen in certain movements — check out our previous coverage on Paré’s project or head over to the LightSpin website by clicking here.