Photographer Uses Cheap Sticky Page Markers to Recreate Light Leak Effect

Photographer Uses Cheap Sticky Page Markers to Recreate Light Leak Effect

One photographer has discovered an easy hack that allows you to replicate the effect of a light leak using cheap office supplies.

Photographer Maciej Pietuszyński, who is based in Ireland, has been posting a series of his works featuring the trick. There are of course a number of ways to re-create the effect digitally in post, but if you’re a fan of getting as much right in camera as possible, you may want to try this out.

Pietuszyński’s trick quite simply involves applying to the front of his lens a transparent, sticky page marker ordinarily used to highlight pages of a book you intend to return to.

Writing on his Facebook page, he said: “I use this on my Micro Four Thirds camera. For crop or full frame, you need bigger index markers or other colorful transparent material.”

His series of work demonstrates varying intensities of the markers, with some shots just including a subtle hint of color. The page markers are cheap, come in large quantities, have various colors, and of course, are small and light enough to easily remain a permanent fixture in any photographers bag.

See more of Pietuszyński’s work at his Facebook and on his Instagram.

All images Maciej Pietuszyński and used with permission.

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Joel Meaders's picture

I find it odd how some artists strive to make their work look like it was done with broken or badly designed equipment.

Jack Alexander's picture

Honestly I think it stems from being a novelty. I/we grew up at a time when digital cameras with near perfect quality were ready available. We never endured (or enjoyed) the effects of low quality equipment

michaeljin's picture

Funny thing is that back then, nobody enjoyed it. Today people romanticize grain in film without knowing that if you went back 20 years, photographers were constantly hoping for film companies to create emulsions that were faster, sharper, and with LESS grain. Back then, pushing Tri-X to 1600 or dealing with light leaks from crappy cameras was a necessity. Now it's "art".

As someone who was actively working in photo labs during the transition from film to digital in my late adolescence to early adulthood, it's pretty interesting to see how the attitudes toward film and digital have developed for different generations. It feels like young people are having fun with film while the old timers roll their eyes or have PTSD moments due to bad experiences during their film days.

Also, who needs to "simulate" a light leak? Just go buy a toy camera like a Holga or Diana (or one of the many old 35mm cameras with deteriorated light seals). Plenty of ways to still do it organically if that's your thing. It'll probably get your more hipster cred while you're at it.

Joel Meaders's picture

I grew up in the rough transition area between film and digital, scanning 35mm film to digital to upload to DeviantArt on my 28,8k modem. Digital was absolutely horrible and very low quality at the time. My first digital camera was a used .3MP Apple QuickTake 100, and it's every bit as bad as it sounds.

I think Michael Jin is on the right track - why simulate it when you can do the real thing? Give it another 20 years and people will make art that simulates CMOS laser-burn damage lol.

As long as someone isn't being a creepy "guy with camera" then other photographers shouldn't rag on the guy. Everyone goes through different phases of experimentation. No H8.

Kelly Lane's picture

This is cool! I definitely want to try something like this!