The fancies and reflections of a loquacious ninja

Dancing Lights (so it begins…)

Two summers ago, aboard a ship in New York bound for across the Hudson, I made a discovery.

It was night; all the lights of the city were awake and transfixed against the darkness that was covering everything else. As the ship sailed on, I stood against the railing trying to take pictures of the lights as they passed by, but they were curiously misbehaving; instead staying riveted to the spot as points of light, as I’d intended and expected to find them, they were dancing all over the place frozen in the strangest shapes, all blurred.

At first I was annoyed, then fascinated. Then I started shaking and jiggling the camera as much as I could when taking the pictures to add to the effect, since I couldn’t get rid of it.

And so, “dancing lights” as I call it, was born.

I’d forgotten about the whole concept until last year, when I tried to take some pictures in the car, and the same thing happened. Now I’ve gone back to obsession.

You should see my brothers rolling their eyes whenever they see me shaking the camera like a madman while pointing it at some light source. I find it pretty funny. And I get some pretty cool pictures (though admittedly, the trend is to get one good picture for every five bad ones).

Of course, since my rediscovery last year, I’ve learned that it’s not really original. There are many photographers out there who have been doing this kind of thing for years as an actual photography technique (I think it’s properly called light painting), in ways much more elegant and sophisticated than my haphazard shake-the-camera-and-hope-it-turns-out method.

But I don’t it for originality. I do it for fun.

I have a ton of these pictures, so expect more sometime in the future. Lots more.

I hope you enjoy them more than my brothers do!

More to come in the future.

~ Timothy


6 responses to “Dancing Lights (so it begins…)

  1. Noelle September 9, 2011 at 1:47 am

    So cool! Love when people come up with their own art ideas, whether actually ‘original’ or not. What you’ve got in the second picture (yellow lights) is a great example of bokeh (pronounced boca) and it’s an effect photographers are always trying to capture!

    • Timothy September 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you Noelle. Yes, I’ve heard of bokeh! Unfortunately, that was a very unique picture. I didn’t get any other ones that look like that, and since I have no clue how I did it, reproducing the effect is kind of hard (I’m about as dilettante a photographer as you can get).

  2. Sarah Beth September 12, 2011 at 12:36 am

    This is really very neat!

  3. whisper September 22, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Very cool!! I especially like the last one, with the green and the yellow. 😀

  4. Pingback: Dancing Lights (continued) « Middling

  5. Pingback: More Dancing Lights « Middling

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