Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Painting with Light! LCD Pens, Circuits and Creativity

This evening my son and I attended a two hour “Light Painting Workshop” at the Oklahoma City CoCo. (Coworking Collaborative) We learned about “makers,” building electronic circuits, LCD lights, and photography while we experienced new ways to have creative fun! During the workshop we built LCD light pens, and then used them to create different artistic effects using digital cameras. The images below are ones we took at home after the workshop, using a 15 second exposure time. As you can see, we were eager to use one of Alexander’s light sabers as a prop. This was great fun! We’ll look forward to doing even more “light painting” with the rest of our family! Many thanks to Derek (who runs the OKC CoCo) and Nathan (who is with Oklahoma Robotics) for leading this GREAT workshop tonight!

The keys to creating images like this are:

  1. Make or buy a LCD light pen. (Since Oklahoma Robotics folks buy supplies in bulk, each of our light pens cost $3.15. This cost was included in our $10 registration for tonight’s workshop.)
  2. Use a tripod with your digital camera.
  3. Set your camera to manual, with an exposure time of 15 seconds.
  4. Open the aperture to the largest / maximum F-stop stetting.
  5. If you want to see your subject in the photo, turn on the flash.
  6. Take your photos in a very DARK location. This can be inside or outside. Outside photos can be interesting with other ambient light, but we tried to find a location that was as dark as possible.

Painting with Light

Painting with Light

Painting with Light

My light saber (which Alexander drew) was a bit wilted tonight. 🙂

Painting with Light

Painting with Light

This one of my favorite creations from the images we made this evening. You can see a “ghostly” version of my face in the photo.

Painting with Light

For more ideas and resources on being a “maker,” check out MakeZine and Instructibles. We can all be “makers!” The maker’s philosophy is:

If you can’t change it, you don’t own it!

We can all use more opportunities to tinker with electronics and art.

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4 responses to “Painting with Light! LCD Pens, Circuits and Creativity”

  1. Chris Atkinson Avatar

    That is so cool! It does not seem to terribly difficult. I think I might give it a try! I have a few LCD pens for my interactive whiteboard in the classroom! Thanks for this tip!

  2. SimonSays Avatar

    Thanks for the idea. This would be a great way to get people having fun practising writing kanji in the air. Nice for kinaesthetic learners!

  3. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    Note you need “LED” pens which are made with LEDs. A very bright flashlight might work too- you can get LED flashlights now.

  4. Chris Atkinson Avatar

    Thanks. I meant to write “LED”. That’s what I get for watching my LCD tv while commenting :).