Light painting artist Dennis Calvert quit his “day job” a short time ago to follow his dream of being a full time photographer and things have been falling right into place. Dennis recently scored an album cover with the band Arch/Matheos. I caught up with Dennis to ask him about his light painting cover shot.
DC ∇ Pretty good. I’m doing wedding photography right now to help cover those pesky living expenses. It took a while to get used to not going into the office every morning, but it feels damn good : )
Wedding photography isn’t quite a glamorous as being a full time light painter, but who knows what’s in the future
LPP ∇ We all have to eat…
How is the Light Painting side of it going? I saw that you landed an album cover for ARCH/MATHEOS, tell me a little bit about that..
DC ∇ shit, one sec. I gotta check dinner!
LPP ∇ haha
DC ∇ k… think we can edit that out? Back to the album stuff.
LPP ∇ No editing…its SOOI (Straight out of interview)
DC ∇ I’ve been doing this “fire man” technique for a while, I created a series I called “SHC” (spontaneous human combustion). Jim Matheos came across some of the work and got in touch. He said the concept was a perfect fit for a new album he was recording with Fates Warning original front man, John Arch.
LPP ∇ How did he find your work?
DC ∇ The internet is a magical thing :):)
LPP ∇ Did they pick one of the images you had already shot or did you shoot one specifically for the album cover?
DC ∇ It was all work I had already created. One image that really grabbed their attention was one I almost didn’t even make.
“Fourth Dimensional Vision”
LPP ∇ What do you mean you almost didn’t make it? Weather, camera trouble, over the shoot that night?
DC ∇ The night I was shooting it, I was out by myself in a cattle field in a pretty rural area.
LPP ∇ and… you got freaked out or something?
DC ∇ I was already set up and had done a test shot. Then I heard a pack of coyotes really close to me just at the edge of the woods. It made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I started to pack up and head out, but I thought screw it. I’m already set up and besides, I have a carbon fiber tripod.
LPP ∇ Yeah that would get you moving… Where did the concept for spontaneous human combustion come from is there something personal behind it?
DC ∇ I was playing around with silhouettes and realized you could use the human body as a stencil and fill it in with different light effects. I had already figured out you could make a pretty neat fire effect with cheap electric glow sticks and it was a perfect fit.
I grew up reading comic books.
Lots of comic books. I was the kid who failed PE and sat in the corner reading comics.
LPP ∇ Its a really awesome series…Back to the band is it your style of music?
DC ∇ Big time. In high school and college I played in a prog rock / metal band. I grew up loving this type of music.
LPP ∇ That’s so perfect… Where are they going to be using the image, is it just one or did they select a few? Are they going on promo stuff and ads? Any idea how many are going to be printed?
DC ∇ They licensed four images from my personal work. All four are being used for art on the album and some promo material. One was used for a t-shirt design. The album is being released internationally.
DC ∇ These are the four shots
LPP ∇ didnt get em?
DC ∇ hey man… not sure if something going wrong on my side.
shit got crazy when I pasted those links.
LPP ∇ No worries, one final question what is next for your light painting photography anything else in the works?
DC ∇ I’m working no a few things right now. But if I told you, I would have to blind you with the brightest lights that I have :):)
LPP ∇ Congratulations again on the album cover and thanks for taking the time to answer some questions.
DC ∇ Thank you!