Light Painting Refractograph Tutorial

Refractography Tutorial

Light painting photographer Rob Turney uses light, refraction, and long exposure light painting techniques to create some awesomely abstract and colorful works of art like these.

I contacted Rob and asked how the F#@!??? He said if I stopped cursing at him he would put together a tutorial to show the rest of us how…. a few weeks later and boom, we have this gift from Rob! A detailed tutorial how to create Refractographs just like Rob and Rob’s inspiration Mr. Alan Jaras. Thank you Mr. Turney you are awesome!

Refractograph Tutorial from Rob Turney on Vimeo.


  1. Jon says

    No this isnt awesome it is a blatant attempt at self promotion with no or little attribution to those above him in this field. He attempts to indicate he invented this and is the best at it. This is so far from the truth and he has already been surpassed by some after his video. Spoonfeeding the masses at its absolute best. We cant be bothered learning for ourselves. Please tell us how to do this in 2 mins and then we can go back to sleep. A shame because he was actually above the game until now.

  2. Stephen says

    Very interesting and amazing, can you tell me approximately the Speed, Aperture & ISO you were using for your Refractograph photos ?

  3. Janis says

    Amazing pictures!

    Just have couple of questions, wouldn’t the reflections that go into the camera damage the sensor ?

    Will the sensors not get dirty by leaving the camera open for a long time ?


    • says

      lasers WILL damage your sensor, standard flashlights should not cause any damage. and yes your camera will get dirty eventually from leaving the lens off.

      • Bill Debley says

        To keep your sensor cleaner, preview you refractive pattern by placing a piece of photo-paper, the size of your sensor, on a body cap for your camera. With the light source closer to the glass object the pattern, your composition, will appear on the sensor sized patch on the body cap. Adjust the object’s rotation, angle, light source distance, etc. until you get the composition you like. This can take several minutes for an object you are not familiar with.
        Then remove the body cap and move you camera in about an inch and a half. This will put the sensor at about the same position as the paper was. You may wish to realign slightly. This should only take a few seconds. Now, ckeck your exposure time and take your shot. Light paint if you wish!