It is a sense of awe and a calming effect that photographer and light painter Denis Smith’s Ball Of Light collection has on his audience. In his photos, there are balls of light that seem to hover in the air in breathtaking backdrops. Skeptics may assume that there’s a lot of photoshopping and editing in creating Smith’s collection. However, in a curious and restless state, Denis Smith studied the art of light painting and found a way to combine it to his photography background.
Light painting is a niche area in photography where a hand-held light is moved around at night in certain way to create its own image. Smith compares,
With normal photography, the shutter opens and closes in a photograph, and you get a snapshot of what’s there in front of the camera. And with light painting, what you do is the shutter stays open for a long period of time, so when it’s a dark environment, it brings more light in, and if you move a light around in front of the camera, it stays embedded in the picture.
Often times, the light source is invisible in the photograph making it seem as if the light has a life of its own. In order to create the photographs, Smith takes a lot of care in preparing a Ball of Light photograph by checking the weather to ensure little wind and a low tide (if by the water). Smith also tracks the moon because the full moon is what makes Smith’s photograph seem as if they were taken during the day, rather than at night.
Smith likes to think that the balls are “portals into another place or another time.” The photographs can be interpreted in many ways, but there is a definite unique quality that naturally draws in an audience.
To see more of Smith’s photographs, click here.