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Light Painting Techniques with KICK


Light painters use an impressive variety of tools and creative techniques to create stunning, intriguing and mesmerizing images. Light painter Martin Barras recently added a couple of KICKs to his tool box.

Light painting is a photographic art form in which the photographer works with light and colors and looong shutter times to create amazing effects and cool images. Light painting is almost as old as photography itself. (Picasso did it too!) But with the introduction of the digital camera the trend experienced an explosive growth.

Martin Barras is a dedicated light painter. Below he shares some fascinating images and great tips on light painting techniques with KICK. Thanks Mart!

“Visitors from Within”

I’ve been fascinated with the concept of aliens and the unknown for as long as I can remember. For this shot I used some holographic wrapping paper to create a tunnel, and a kitchen colander for the back of the tunnel. The whole set up was propped up on books about 4-5 inches off a table, a very make shift Heath Robinson (US: Rube Goldberg) affair, I can tell you.

I placed one KICK behind the tunnel, on the table, so it lit the scene through the holes in the colander. Here the wireless connection with the KICKs from my phone really came into its own; being able to turn the light on and off remotely was great, and as KICK enabled me to select colors on the fly I could easily test different shades and hues until I found something I felt worked.

“The Genesis of Man”

Having grown up watching Doctor Who and many, many sci-fi movies during my childhood I guess this kind of imagery has stuck somewhere in my psyche.

For this shot I had to fashion a rudimentary snoot from masking tape for one of the KICKs in order to make it color the alien in the shot. Using a selection of color images I found on the internet, which I then saved to my phone, I simply picked a nice selection of colors for the pallet to give it a really 60″s psychedelic feel. I felt this complemented the time tunnel effect I created with the rotation tool.

“Welcome to the Jungle”

I had seen some graphic design work online with an image of a man made from plants’ leaves. I was fascinated by the concept and wanted to find out whether I could make something similar with a camera. I had just got my first KICK lights and was keen to test them out properly.

I used KICK’s sampling feature to sample colors from other photographs I knew. Armed with a vibrant red and green I had found, I set up the shot, lit myself into the frame, and then rotated the camera using my camera rotation tool. I capped the lens, took the camera off the tripod, placed it face up towards some plants I had placed on the floor with the KICKs nestled between them. I then uncapped the lens and fired up the KICKs for a few seconds.

Although the result wasn’t 100% perfect I felt I had captured the essence of what I was after. I was happy.


I’ve shot at this location in my hometown of Brighton UK before. It is a very peaceful and beautiful monument to the brave men who fought in the war. I wanted to light the Indian temple, then rotate the camera and create a (false) reflection. I needed to be in the frame twice for the silhouette of the man; but there is always a risk with shots like this that you spend a lot of time lighting the frame and shooting, only to find you’ve captured yourself on the wrong spot in the shot. The KICKs proved perfect for the job: Remote controlling the lights from my phone, I did not have to get in the frame more than necessary.

“Caved in”

I was really happy with how this shot came out, although it wasn’t really planned at all.

I had done a rotation shot with these rocks on the beach before in order to create a cave effect similar to this, but i wanted to try it with the KICKs. The KICKs are portable and really lightweight, which is great when you’re carrying a lot of lights and a camera around, and still they are powerful. The 400 lumens output from the KICKs is powerful enough to get some bold vibrant colors going in the shot. This adds a kind of retro print around the edge of the frame, which frames the shot nicely around the rotation part, I think.

See more of Martin Barras’ work on Flickr


One thought on “Light Painting Techniques with KICK

  1. beautiful example of a tool that really brings a new dimension …
    The son is not a dream … I want one …
    cheers Martin Barras nice work …
    beautiful example of a tool that really brings a new dimension …
    The son is not a dream … I want one …
    cheers Martin Barras nice work …
    Bravo Kick wonderful invention …

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