Light Painting Photographer Jeremy Jackson, also known as TACKYSHACK, has a style all his own. His light painting photographs are fun and bright. Jeremy is well known for creating his “Fire and Light Masks”. He has only been light painting since 2007 but in that time he has put in more work and created more images than light painters that have been shooting twice as long. He has already created more than 150 of his “Fire and Light Masks” along with hundreds of other images. Jeremy’s dedication to light painting photography is inspiring. He shoots on 35mm film as well as digital. Tackyshack explains light painting like this, “The world is your canvas. Anything you can imagine can be painted a million different ways, time and space take on new meaning”. View some of his images and read his full light painting photography interview below. For even more of his work check out his website TACKYSHACK.NET.
Light Painting Photography interview conducted by Jason D. Page in 2011
1. What is your name? Jeremy Jackson
2. Do you have an alias that you go by? Tackyshack
3. Are you a soloist or are you part of a Light Painting group? If a group who is in your group? Soloist who likes to collaborate with anyone interested.
4. What education do you have? Master’s Degree in Special Education
5. What is your occupation? Teacher
6. How long have you been a photographer? As long as I have been a light painter (1.5
7. How long have you been light painting? About a year and a half.
8. How did you discover Light Painting Photography? Playing around with glowsticks
and my point and shoot. Discovered light junkies on flickr shortly after and haven’t been
the same since! =)
9. What was your first Light Painting Image? A glowstick “tunnel” in which I connected them in a loop and walked away from the lens to create the tunnel effect. It was done on my point and shoot at a high ISO so it was super noisy.
10. Film or Digital? I shoot both. Digital for convenience, film for saturation, colors and the magic of having a light painting shot on a single frame of film.
11. Do you believe in aliens? Sure. Sometimes I think we are the aliens. We are unlike any other species on this planet.
12. What is your standard Light Painting Photography setup? Steel wool and LED light
tools of various types (LED swords, built tools like my LED wheel or RGB strip, etc.) being used in my yard across a choreographed composition.
13. What is your favorite color? Blue
14. Who influences your Light Painting Photography work? Everyone who waves lights in front of a lens. I could list a ton of light painters here.
15. Who is your favorite Light Painting Artist? Just one? Geez¼. If it’s only one then it would have to be tcb. I’d say most of the light painting community would agree with me.
16. What is your favorite food? Stir Fry
17. Do you create in any other mediums other than light painting? If so what are they? I enjoy painting and drawing patterns. Nothing serious though.
18. What is your favorite Light Painting Photography image that you have created? It
would have to be my Fire & Light Mask “Shaak Ti” (Named by my fellow painter in
Argentina, Santiago.) It was an eye opening and magic moment and still one of my best masks to date despite creating 100 since then.
19. What is your favorite Light Painting Photography image of another artist? Probably
tdub303’s “Best Nest”. There are so many incredible shots from all of the artists out there that this is tough to say.
20. What is the most difficult part of Light Painting Photography? Loss of sleep by far is the most difficult thing to deal with. Everything else is fun in my book.
21. How do you get you Light Painting Photography work seen? Mostly flickr. I have
displayed in a few local galleries and such but the cost of printing and time/energy
invested in gallery displays is a deterrent for me. I need to be thinking more along these
lines and getting more business oriented though. It’s much more fun being an artist!
22. Do you sell your Light Painting Photography work? I’d love to but haven’t sold much as of yet. I need a system for this.
23. Are you represented by a gallery? Nope. Would be cool though.
24. Where can we see more of your work? Right now my website or flickr are the best
options. I have a facebook fanpage as well but think the photos look better on flickr.
25. What is your favorite quote? “Life is what happens in between making plans.”
26. Who is your favorite artist? Alex Grey
27. What is you favorite activity other than light painting? Hanging out with my wife and kids, family, and friends.
28. Tell me a good light painting story. One of my best friends growing up recently came
into town and we had a 14 hour photographic endeavor. We light painted in 3 different counties from 6 PM to 8 AM. Every stop was a blast and we finished the collaborations off with some extraordinary sunrise shots in the forest next to my house.
29. Tell me a nightmare light painting story. I can’t think of any specific instance. I mean, if I come away from any night with a light painting photo then I’m content no matter how difficult the circumstances may have been.
30. Have you ever been arrested or ticketed for light painting? Not yet¼.
31. What do you say to people when they see you light painting and they ask “what
the hell are you doing”? Making art!
32. Where do you find inspiration for your Light Painting Photography? All of the great
light painters from the light junkies group on flickr.
33. Who would you like to punch? I’m a pacifist.
34. Who would you like to kiss? My wife.
35. Why do you Light Paint? It’s my outlet. My means of escaping traditional time and space. Not to mention it’s an absolute blast and magical every time I open the shutter.
36. What is your favorite time to shoot? Any time I can make time is the right time.
37. What is your favorite subject to shoot? I dunno¼. Nature I suppose.
38. Where is your favorite place to shoot? Out in my yard. I’ve been to a ton of great
locations but I have a level of comfort in my yard and can step into my shack to grab a light tool if it’s needed.
39. If you could travel anywhere to Light Paint where would you go? Oh man¼.
Australia? England? The drains of Minneapolis? Japan? Honestly, anywhere I could
meet an awesome light painter and collaborate some shots with them on their turf.
40. Have you ever invented a Light Painting Photography tool? If so what was it and
how did it work? Sure. I mean, I use other light painters’ ideas and make them my own. In terms of inventing¼ I think there is an awful lot of hullabaloo over who is the “first” or
“originator” and think it distracts from the artwork itself. That being said, I have built many tools but I’m not in this to be an inventor. I’m an artist and advocate.
41. Do you ever get sick of explaining your work to people? Oh yeah. Definitely. I
absolutely love the art form but find myself wanting to hand out a written explanation or point them to videos so I can save my breath.
42. How many times have you heard the work photoshop when someone was
describing or asking about your work? Several. I think the funniest comment is “Great
processing.” I guess they’re complimenting the sensor on my camera. Ha!
43. What makes you happy? Time spent with family and friends.
44. What makes you mad? Feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities and everyday
tasks. That and having to get up early. =)
45. What part of Light Painting Photography do you enjoy the most? The moment you close the shutter and see your creation for the first time.
46. What part of Light Painting Photography do you hate the most? Loss of sleep. I’m a
night owl and enjoy the late nights but the mornings are no fun.
47. Do you have a website? If yes what is the address? Yes. http://www.tackyshack.net
48. What is Light Painting Photography? The world is your canvas and light is your
medium. Anything you can imagine can be painted with light a million different ways. Time and space take on new meaning.
49. Give me some advice for anyone that might like to try Light Painting
Photography. Be patient and don’t give up on great concepts. Learn to use varying apertures on your camera and try moving your light sources at varying speeds. Once
you have a technique down, combine it with other new learned techniques to create
even more intriguing photos. Most importantly, study the light painting that’s already out
there. Find the photos that intrigue you and view the aperture, ISO, and exposure time to understand the best settings for specific circumstances.
50. Are you scared of the dark? Nope. I mean, I’ve been spooked numerous times
while out light painting but ultimately I have learned to embrace the great outdoors at
night. Whether I was taking photos or not, there is something magic about it all.