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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


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KICK diffuser: Sunset at Broad Daylight


We let a creative photo enthusiast play with a KICK diffuser for a couple of weeks. Look what he came up with and read his comments:

– As I first got my hands on the KICK diffuser I spent a couple of days thinking about what you can do with it: shoot beautiful portraits in lovely soft light with hints of color; take great pics of objects, with carefully controlled light and dark areas; or enhance shapes and curves and adjust colors perfectly in order to express an object’s particular qualities.

In the mood for macros
– Well, my latest lens is a macro lens, so I soon moved on to what KICK and the diffuser can do to macro photography. KICK is much too big for the job, really, but then I got the idea that with the diffuser the KICK might be perfect for shooting silhouette photos of tiny objects – like a bumblebee!


The photographer caught a bumblebee and put it in the freezer for a short while in order to slow it down a bit. This gave him a couple of minutes to shoot before the bee would fly away – and he had to start over again.

– I mounted KICK and the diffuser on a small tripod, which made it easy to create the perspective I wanted. Together they allowed me to carefully control the color and intensity of the background light, and create a sunset at broad daylight.


– It was a strange experience to stand there midday and portrait a bumblebee at sunset. What I saw in the finder was completely different from the object and the whole scene in real life! Pretty cool.

Well, that’s what we think of the image too: Pretty cool!

The Rift Labs team

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Portraits from a Car Cemetery



Dead cool. A horror movie taught photo enthusiast Ole Schjødt-Osmo how light and color may be used creatively to express a car’s character and “personality”. A deserted car cemetery was the perfect location for further photographic experimentation on the theme. And KICK proved the perfect tool.

Ole tells the story:

Inspiration. From the horror movie Christine, which made a huge impression on me as a very young man in 1983, I learned how much personality and character old cars may hold. In particular I remember how skillfully that movie used lighting and color effects to communicate a car’s energy and “desires”. It’s been more than 25 years since I saw the movie but as I approached the photo shoot location I could clearly picture in my head the light and colors I wanted to recreate.

[The KICK (green light) is left in the front seat]

Location & motifs. The photographs were shot at a deserted car cemetery on the Norwegian-Swedish border. I learned about this place from some photographers I know, and had also seen some interesting images posted on the Internet. The rusty and overgrown wrecks fascinated me. Overgrown with grass, flowers and trees, the beautiful, almost organic, curves of the old cars stand out even more.

DSC_0482_1600pxs[KICK (green light) is in the glove compartment]

Windows are smashed and essential parts may be lacking, but the beautifully curved car bodies and one-eyed fronts still shine with character and charm through cobwebs and weed.

It was surprisingly difficult to make my way through the grass and weeds to (and not to mention inside!) the overgrown wrecks. I walked around for a while looking for cars that had the right curves and expressed the character, desire and energy I wanted. Once I found them, the task was to try and recreate it all in the photos.

[Behind the scenes: Spot the KICK on the steering wheel]

KICK was the perfect tool for the job; easy to fit in tiny compartments and small gaps in the car wrecks. I positioned the KICK in various places inside the wrecks, and left it there. Then, via the KICK app on my phone I remote controlled color and brightness and tested different moods and angles. I think the streaks of light in the pictures create some interesting atmospheres and add story potential to the images. They evoke curiosity and expectation: there is something going on.

[KICK (purple light) is in the glove compartment]


Ole Schjødt-Osmo / Rift Labs