Light Painting Photographer Pete Eckert creates his images from sound, touch, and memory. His light painting images evoke a feeling of emotional connection that few photographers are able to capture. Pete sees his images in a slightly different way that most people, he only sees them in his mind’s eye. Many light painters imagine the final image in their mind before and during the creation process, we lay down the layers of light to create what we have in our minds and then we check the final composition. Pete Eckert is a little different than most light painters and that is because he is totally blind. He doesn’t have the luxury of being able to check the image he must rely on feeling and intuition to know his final composition is right. Pete does see the image he is creating, maybe even more clearly than a sighted person could, because he sees it vividly in his Mind’s Eye. Pete didn’t take photography seriously until he lost his sight. He trained in sculpture and industrial design and planned to study architecture at Yale University that was until he was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. Pete discovered light painting photography in 2000 while searching for artistic ways to depict blindness. His light painting work has been exhibited on an International level and he was the grand prize winner of the Artist Wanted “Exposure” Contest in 2008. Read the full Light Painting Photography interview with Pete and check out some of his beautiful images below, and for even more images and information view Pete’s website http://www.peteeckert.com
Light Painting Photography interview conducted by Jason D. Page in 2012
1.. What is your name?
2.. Do you have an alias that you go by?
No my guide dog’s is VOODOO child
3.. Are you a soloist or are you part of a Light Painting group? If a
group who is in your group?
I work alone
4.. What education do you have?
2 BA’s , a graduate degree, and a black belt
5.. What is your occupation?
6.. How long have you been a photographer?
about a dozen years
7.. How long have you been light painting?
about 11-12 years
8.. How did you discover Light Painting Photography?
I was searching for methods to depict blindness
9.. What was your first Light Painting Image?
Unknown: I did so many test.
10.. Film or Digital?
11.. Do you believe in aliens?
Are we all off Landers?
12.. What is your standard Light Painting Photography setup?
there are no standards other than i have a studio
13.. What is your favorite color?
yellow the last color I could see
14.. Who influences your Light Painting Photography work?
I am more influenced by what than who
15.. is your favorite Light Painting Artist?
the sun Sol
16.. What is your favorite food?
anything well made
17.. Do you create in any other mediums other than light painting? If so
what are they?
cooking, sculpture, woodworking, martial arts, and I can make a terrible
mess with a paint brush.
18.. What is your favorite Light Painting Photography image that you have
I always like the one I am planning next.
19.. What is your favorite Light Painting Photography image of another
Since I haven’t
‘t seen for decades the only one I know is the one Picasso did for Life
Magazine, others I only hear of.
20.. What is the most difficult part of Light Painting Photography?
getting to the location
21.. How do you get you Light Painting Photography work seen?
on line or galleries
22.. Do you sell your Light Painting Photography work?
23.. Are you represented by a gallery?
24.. Where can we see more of your work?
25.. What is your favorite quote? I’m partial to Mark Twain. A cigar and a
tall one would be nice in his company if I could ask him to provide one.
26.. Who is your favorite artist?
i like to many to list. The ones I don’t like are ; Fragonard and Renoir:
they look like cotton candy.
27.. What is you favorite activity other than light painting?
28.. Tell me a good light painting story.
I did a light painting shoot for Playboy
29.. Tell me a nightmare light painting story.
I have had people try to mug me for my equipment. Having a wolf with you
has it’s benefits.
30.. Have you ever been arrested or ticketed for light painting?
31.. What do you say to people when they see you light painting and they
ask “what the hell are you doing”?
It varies. Usually my blindness is more of a curiosity. They often take
photos of me working.
32.. Where do you find inspiration for your Light Painting Photography?
Mostly from ideas i dream up.
33.. Who would you like to punch?
34.. Who would you like to kiss?
hey now I’m married that could get me into trouble.
35.. Why do you Light Paint?
It gives me a chance to alter images
36.. What is your favorite time to shoot?
very late at night when it is quite.
37.. What is your favorite subject to shoot?
38.. Where is your favorite place to shoot?
I guess my studio
39.. If you could travel anywhere to Light Paint where would you go?
Space, a backdrop of stars would be neat.
40.. Have you ever invented a Light Painting Photography tool? If so what
was it and how did it work?
Any light source is fair game. i didn’t invent these.
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?
Often. Although once I tell them Photoshop isn’t accessible they relent.
43.. What makes you happy?
being free to work.
44.. What makes you mad?
People who prejudge me telling me what I can and can’t do.
45.. What part of Light Painting Photography do you enjoy the most?
The event of making the exposure.
46.. What part of Light Painting Photography do you hate the most?
None of it. All difficulties are chances to innovate.
47.. Do you have a website? If yes what is the address?
48.. What is Light Painting Photography?
Building an image while the camera lens is open.
49.. Give me some advice for anyone that might like to try Light Painting
Go forth and play.
50.. Are you scared of the dark? Since I am blind my whole world is in
darkness. i am scared of crazy drivers. If you guys keep trying to run me
down in cross walks I need to dust off my truck.