Light painting artist Darren Pearson, a.k.a. Darius Twin, has been light painting since 2008. He first discovered light painting after seeing an image from Gjon Mili that captured Pablo Picasso creating a light drawing called “Picasso Draws A Centar”. The influence of Picasso’s light drawing can be seen in Darren’s work as many of his light painting images are created using a similar line light drawing technique. Darren lives in Los Angeles and says one of the most difficult parts of creating his light drawings is “finding a cool spot without ambient light or sketchy night-people. In Los Angeles, that’s a tall order!” He has heard the dreaded word “Photoshop” roughly 486 times when listening to people talk about his work, but is surprisingly not sick of explaining it yet. Darren pioneered the light painting technique of spinning a glass prism in front of the camera while shinning light into the lens to create rainbow prismatic circles. Check out some of Darren’s images and read his full light painting photography interview below. For even more images and information check out his website at Dariustwin.com and his flickr page HERE.
1. What is your name?
2. Do you have an alias that you go by?
3. Are you a soloist or are you part of a Light Painting group? If a group who is in your group?
Mostly solo theses days, although I have two friends who I work with when I can (Jeff Morris and Michael Brown of thelightpainters.com)
4. What education do you have?
University of California at Santa Cruz – BA in film and digital media
5. What is your occupation?
Graphic artist / art director
6. How long have you been a photographer?
7. How long have you been light painting?
8. How did you discover Light Painting Photography?
I saw an old article from LIFE magazine on the collaboration between Pablo Picasso and Gjon Mili and the image ‘picasso draws a centaur’. I was fascinated by the image and asked my friend how it worked; he explained long exposures to me.
10. Film or Digital?
11. Do you believe in aliens?
I believe death, taxes and aliens.
12. What is your standard Light Painting Photography setup?
Canon 7D, tripod, canon 580ex speedlite, flashlights, colored keychain lights, electric wire, plastic gels, prism glasses
13. What is your favorite color?
14. Who influences your Light Painting Photography work?
Friends, fans, artists, fellow light painters
15. Who is your favorite Light Painting Artist?
Dennis Calvert, TCB, TigTab, Trevor Williams.. I could name more, too hard to choose just one.
16. What is your favorite food?
Pizza. I am a pizzatarian.
17. Do you create in any other mediums other than light painting? If so what are they?
Pen/ink, film, paint, computer, screen-printed tees, music, animation
18. What is your favorite Light Painting Photography image that you have created?
Dariusaur. It fit the scene well. Collaboration with Jeff Morris, we must have tried to make it work 50 times that night. There was a lot of running up broken stairs, indoor painting, outdoor painting, light illustration, and a silhouette. What a workout.
19. What is your favorite Light Painting Photography image of another artist?
Tough question. Triple-tie between tcb’s primary color obsession, calvert’s fourth dimensional vision, and tigtab’s hidden world.
20. What is the most difficult part of Light Painting Photography?
Finding a cool spot without ambient light or sketchy night-people. In Los Angeles, that’s a tall order!
21. How do you get your Light Painting Photography work seen?
I put it all over the Internet; flickr, blogs, facebook. I also do art shows and sometimes if I’m lucky, I get publicity in magazines or art communities. The important part is to keep producing and challenge yourself.
22. Do you sell your Light Painting Photography work?
Certainly. I did an ad campaign for Reebok shoes. I sell some stock on Getty images and through thelightpainters.com
23. Are you represented by a gallery?
That’d be nice.
24. Where can we see more of your work?
25. What is your favorite quote?
Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today – Thomas Jefferson
26. Who is your favorite artist?
27. What is you favorite activity other than light painting?
28. Tell me a good light painting story.
Took my grandmother out light painting once up in the mountains north of Tucson because she was interested in the process. It turned into a bit of an adventure after the road turned to dirt and we got a bit lost. She got to do a few light paintings herself and we did collaboration. She fell asleep on the ride home but we had a great time. Goes to show you that art is an all ages activity.
29. Tell me a nightmare light painting story.
Hiked 6 miles into an abandoned military base only to step on a rusty nail 30 min into shooting. After hearing a terrible story from a friend that had gotten tetanus a month earlier, decided it was best to wrap up the gear and hike back. I poured blood out of my shoe that night. Tough luck.
30. Have you ever been arrested or ticketed for light painting?
Kinda. Took Todd Blaisdell out to the abandoned old LA Zoo and had a great time until the cops came as we were taking down our gear; they told us we were trespassing, the park is closed, and that our cars had tickets on the windshields. We were let go after checking to see if we had any outstanding warrants. Thankfully, none of us did.
31. What do you say to people when they see you light painting and they ask “what the hell are you doing”?
I either try my best to explain it, or I tell them honestly, ‘you wouldn’t understand, but it looks cool’.
32. Where do you find inspiration for your Light Painting Photography?
Art, friends, travel, the great outdoors.
33. Who would you like to punch?
Pillsbury Doughboy. I can see his expression now.
34. Who would you like to kiss?
35. Why do you Light Paint?
Same reason cavemen drew on walls – our images outlive us. Plus we got that whole magical glowing thing going.
36. What is your favorite time to shoot?
Full moon. Owwwwwwwww.
37. What is your favorite subject to shoot?
People interacting with light, anything with a story behind the image.
38. Where is your favorite place to shoot?
Forests, historical areas, beaches, places of mystery, and buildings reclaimed by nature.
39. If you could travel anywhere to Light Paint where would you go?
40. Have you ever invented a Light Painting Photography tool? If so what was it and how did it work?
I spun prism glasses over the lens of my camera while shining white light into the lens to create rainbow prismatic circles.
41. Do you ever get sick of explaining your work to people?
42. How many times have you heard the work photoshop when someone was describing or asking about your work?
Roughly 486 times.. Still counting.
43. What makes you happy?
Awesome people, art, music, family, friends, passions, I can’t really list everything here but there’s a lot that makes me happy.
44. What makes you mad?
45. What part of Light Painting Photography do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy giving life to a scene. Organic drawings, exploration, and surprise results are what I live for.
46. What part of Light Painting Photography do you hate the most?
Waving lights in front of the camera and doing some insane parkour all over the place just to look at the back of camera and determine that the image is in fact, out of focus!
47. Do you have a website? If yes what is the address?
48. What is Light Painting Photography?
Light painting photography is a genre of long exposure photography, where the photographer actively creates an image, in camera, by moving or following natural and artificial light.
49. Give me some advice for anyone that might like to try Light Painting Photography.
Here’s my video explanation for beginners: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeTzUzPfleU
I say learn from others mistakes. View the tutorial videos on this site, they’re a great starting point.
50. Are you scared of the dark?
Not the dark itself; perhaps what lurks within it.