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This Audiovisual Art was Made Entirely with Light Painting

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Photographer Reuben Wu is best known for his pioneering outdoor light-painting projects, including lighting nighttime landscapes using LED-laden drones. Now he’s back with a new series called EX STASIS that’s a collection of four timelapse/motion audiovisual pieces created entirely with light-painting.

You can watch the 4 pieces one after another in the 1.5-minute video above.

“[The pieces] speak to my ecstatic experience of creation; a unique feeling which excites and motivates me to keep creating and exploring in the field of photography and visual art,” Wu tells PetaPixel. “A development from my Lux Noctis (drone light) project, this series focuses more on the intimate landscape, using practical in-camera lighting effects to interact with the immediate surroundings.

“As it gets dark, my surroundings cease to be an exterior experience and become a subliminal space, and that’s when I feel most connected and aware of my sense of being.”

Wu says that he’s been working for the past couple of years on marrying his pioneering still photography light painting work (e.g. painting halos above peaks and drawing floating symbols into landscapes) with the motion/video work he has been experimenting with.

“I was also looking at alternative methods of illumination which did not involve a drone,” Wu says. “I needed much more control, and less of an intrusive experience that is typical of drones.”

After testing out different methods, Wu decided to use a 200-LED light stick that can be programmed to create custom shapes and colors. Those light shapes are then captured in camera (by Wu or an assistant), both as stills and as videos.

A still frame from EX STASIS I.
A still frame from EX STASIS II.
A still frame from EX STASIS III.
A still frame from EX STASIS IV.

“Various methods were used to capture these pieces: stills, time-lapse, and real-time video, all combined to weave a narrative which is photographic in capture but imaginative and fictional in story,” Wu says. “This dynamic terrestrial chiaroscuro synchronizes with my sound design and music to form singular looping pieces which draw the viewer in.”

Wu is releasing EX STATIS as an NFT collection through Nifty Gateway, in case you’re interested in collecting his art digitally. You can also find more of his work on his website, Twitter, and Instagram.

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