Wes Whaley and His New Light Painting Tool, Interview

I got the chance to catch up with light painter Wes Whaley recently to ask him a few questions about the tools and technique behind some of his recent images you see here.

LPP ∇ Hey Wes I have seen some of your awesome light painting images like “Electroluminescentness” and “Collective Consciousness” recently and it looks like you have been putting in a lot of work advancing your design tools and technique. Tell me a little bit about your set up for one of these shots.

WW ∇ My set up is a crazy hard to explain tool I made at home. I use a lot of EL Wire a Canon rebel XS.

LPP ∇ Is there anything different about the technique to create one of these images from any other light painting image?

WW ∇ Well it’s different as far as technique it took me a lot of practice to get all the movements the same or as best as I can. The movements of the tool took a while as far as making the distance the same and holding it for a few seconds so the EL would show up better as I have two different types and one is brighter than the other.

LPP ∇ What inspired this tool? Were you trying to create a tool for a specific shot or just experimenting?

WW ∇ Mostly experimenting.

LPP ∇ How long did it take for you to feel like you had it right?

WW ∇ It took me about 4 months to get it where i thought i was getter better at the movements.

LPP ∇ How long does it take to create one of these monsters?

WW ∇ Anywhere for 3 to 5 minutes depends on how many colors i lay down.

LPP ∇ The latest images look like the tool/technique has really evolved, how many have you made now?

WW ∇ I have 35 of this technique.

LPP ∇ What was the most difficult part about creating this light painting tool?

WW ∇ Making the tool lighter is the fun part.

LPP ∇ How long have you been light painting?

WW ∇ Been light painting for 1.5 yrs

LPP ∇ How did you discover light painting?

WW ∇ Through a friend Dennis Calvert an awesome artist!

LPP ∇ Any plans on making a tutorial for the rest of the light painting community to share how you are making these images or will you keep it your own?

WW ∇ I’m working on a tutorial now as a matter of fact.

LPP ∇ Where can people find more of your images?

WW ∇ On my flickr photostream.

LPP ∇ Anything you would like to add?

WW ∇ I love light painting the most because it all in your imagination and also if you were to ask anyone to draw or paint a picture it would take days or weeks. I can set up and shoot a photo in about 10 minutes that is sweet!

LPP ∇ Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. We are all looking forward to seeing that tutorial.


  1. says

    Fantastic work! I would like to learn more about the technique and the actual tool behind the images (of course imagination is the key, but to see the tool used would be really handy). How far off is the tutorial?