Light Painting Portrait Photographer on America’s Got Talent

Light Painting Portrait Photographer on America’s Got Talent

The Aurora Light Painters troupe performed a light painting routine that used a large digital display as their recording medium (as opposed to your camera's sensor or film) for "America's Got Talent" judges: Howard Stern, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel. Light painting is no doubt old news to our readers but for most of the mainstream this is their first encounter with this technique. So good luck to portrait photographer Julian Cash and The Aurora Light Painters as they advance to Las Vegas to compete for a $1 million grand prize and a chance to headline a Vegas show.

Aurora Light Painters:
"Aurora Light Painters is a new artistic collaboration born from a combination of photography, animation & video techniques. It is an extension of traditional light painting but instead of using an open shutter of a still camera, it uses a system to create a totally unique live interaction where everyone can see the image as it’s being created."

via [LaughingSquid]

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Adam Cross's picture

"nobody else is doing this" ...

Dave Wallace's picture

Thought the same thing

 We are legion to make light paint... But they are only to make a bad work like that...
Thougth the same thing of you btw

I haven't ever seen anyone else doing this live. Light painting has been around longer than I have, but I've never seen anything close to this. Sure, they are a little unconventional in their speech patterns and behaviorisms, but so what? I'm not sure they have enough lasting appeal for a long-run Vegas show, but this helps educate the public about new and novel forms of photo-graphy. 

Should be interesting to see where this (not just this Aurora group) goes. 

I thought it was pretty cool how so many people were cheering like crazy for such a simple technique hahaha

It doesn't matter what technique you use. It is all about how you use it and they made very good show.

Yeah, it's so "simple". Probably why you don't see a million youtube videos about it.

Please, if I'm wrong, point me to some other examples of live video light painting because I've only found 2 so far and one involves linux and custom software. 

Jeremy Cupp's picture

They creep me out, but it was super cool.

why not do something similar at weddings and let the guests paint on/around the bride+ groom ... they would love it.... interactive wedding photography :)

I don't think i fully understand the technique... how do they stream the capture in real time... doesn't the camera have to make the exposure then output the file for viewing?

how did they do it in real time .. i guess we all know the concept but the real time thing is what i wanna know

Tam Nguyen's picture

Very cool technology yeah. I'm interested in knowing how they're able to show it on the screen in real time. The guy is a tad creepy, which makes you feel like "I'm in that weird part of Youtube again".

Exactly! I want to know more about how they are doing it in realtime. fstoppers, go!

Very cool technology yeah... but Seriously Guys... I Know hundred guys
who take the light painting at a really other level. And i'm just really
sad for all those guys & girls, who really make "art" with light.
Because those on america's got talent... Haven't any talent for light...
just children who don't deserve that in my opinion.

PS : if you want to see some really great stuff about light painting,
check the work of Marko 93, Jadikan, Kalaam (julien breton), Dream
Art's, G.E.T Light, Cesium and you will see what is dream.

Mike Kelley's picture

Children who don't deserve that? They're the first to do it on a stage like that, so I'd absolutely say they deserve it. Which leads me to one of my favorite quotes of all time:

"I can do that."

"...Yeah, but you didn't."

Marko 93 is seemingly not doing it live, and there's a slight difference. I just checked him on youtube. He seems to be using the linux/custom software deal publicly available to do it, notice how he's sped up. Can you link me to someone doing it live in realtime, if not, how about an example how?

Mario Ermitikos's picture

i agree, there is no need to nag about whether or not light painting is sth new or not. At least all of us visiting fstoppers know that! Its much more constructive to figure out process. What is the display on which linux is used to capture and display the trails??

R. J. Kern's picture

Too often painting with light turns county-fair neon art project, covered in cheese. However, it is great to see something like this make it on a big stage.

Iplay with composition and lighting on so many of my weddings I shoot. The third necessary ingredient, documenting a memorable moment, is the tricky part.

I created this light painting with my PhaseOne MF digital camera on my most recent wedding, inspired by a sonic boom.

Comments from the video:
+ An art troupe painting with light. Damn, wish I thought of that. God only knows the comical relief I provide running around in fields tripping over trees, falling into water, and almost getting arrested by a mounted police on a horse while teaching a workshop in New Orleans.+ Look at the crowd roar!!!! Now that is light painting on a grand stage, entertainment beyond the final photo. Clients love the process.+ Howard Stern has seen it all. To hear him say, “I’ve never seen anything like this before,” I smile.+ If Sharon Obsorne loved it, I can only imagine what Ozzy was thinking.

Thanks for sharing, Fstoppers!!!!

This performance was fascinating, and it does conjure
thoughts akin to magic shows because one can’t help but wonder how it’s
done.  The concept is certainly not as
original as I thought though since reading about time lapse overexposure
photography.  Still, I am glad that A
Dish co-worker encouraged me to go to Dish Online and see this episode. I love that I find other shows I didn’t
know about when I’m there too.  I watched
the first two seasons of “Arrested Development” that way.

Try this yourself using your WEBCAM and the software from


Everyone can do that. I´ve co-developed a unique piece of software - to practise lightpainting and lightart

Try the Realtime Lightart Software LPL - paint with Light in Realtime!

LPL is a Software (pro-version available) who lets you paint with light in front of the camera.
Available for PC and MAC

Read my blog-post about the realtime lightart idea
Joerg Miedza

I saw this and all I could think was that there has GOT to be people out there bashing their heads into the walls at the lame childish "art" otherwise know as hipster macaroni art. They cant possibly be the first people to do this, and they don't make anything remotely interesting, so I am dying to find those out there who are talented!