I think that unless you have not had anything to do with lightpainting – you will have heard of the Pixelstick.
In case you haven’t, the Pixelstick received over 6 times it’s kickstarter funding goal in 2013. I got hold of one in early 2015, and though I’ve taken it out to various camera clubs, and demonstrated just what can be done with it, I have to confess, that I’ve not used it myself really very much in anger.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, the Pixelstick is an array of 200 addressable RGB LEDs. This means each LED can produce almost any colour, and each one can be instructed to flash on and off at a particular speed and colour sequence. With the right set of instructions, the LEDs can be used to mimic the pixels of a bitmapped image, so as the Pixelstick is moved through space, the LEDs effectively ‘draw’ the bitmap in midair and can be captured during a long exposure photograph. It works a bit like an ink jet printer. As you see a print coming out, one line of ink at a time, so the Pixelstick works in much the same way, but with light. BMP files are saved to an SD card which sits in the control panel, and allows you to replay any image saved on there in the correct format.
The camera stays still, and as you move the lights along in front of the sensor, the colours are captured line by line, making up an image, or pattern.
The website is HERE if you want more information…….
It’s possible to add more than one image to overlay another, making up complex pictures.
There’s a group of lightpainters who really don’t like this kind of equipment – they much prefer to have all their lightpainting done with different techniques and self made equipment.
Personally though, I have not got the time, inclination, know-how, to make some of the things they use – and so I use this rather wonderful Pixelstick instead.
Combine it with people, and you can make amazing silhouettes – and portraiture works well too, as you can make what ever kind of background you like.
Add a touch of inventiveness, and you can make anything you like. I’ll be exploring this kit in more detail over the coming months.
In the meantime, I leave you with the GIF I created earlier today – don’t look at it for too long, or your eyes will most definitely go crazy……..