How to make Fire and Light Paintings - Redwoodtwig

Brandon Smith (Redwoodtwig)

Light sword 9110

Fire works great outdoors, but indoors, or while practicing, lights work better, or at least safer.  For interesting images, lights often work better too.  So I also built a pair of "light swords."  These are simply wooden sticks with battery powered colored lights taped to them.

In October of 1986 I was performed with the Sphyre of Promethus using fire outside and with these colored light swords inside for Lizzie West's  Howloween ball.  Her encouragement and enthusiasm have meant a great deal to both my fire dancing and my photography.  

When I got inside I found myself being photographed by all kinds of people as I danced with these light sticks.  One in particular had a full size DSLR on a monopod, but instead of planting it and making a time exposure, he was dancing with it.  He came over to me, quite excited and showed me what he'd captured.  It turned out he had been doing light paintings for 20 some odd years and was greatly inspired by this new way he'd just found of making light paintings.  His name is Peter Anger and the image he made that night he called Equivalent.

One thing led to another and after a couple of  joint studio sessions as well as a session done in the gallery where the show would hang with several dancers on hand and much discussion and further work, we put on a collaborative show at the Davis  Gallery on the Stephens college campus in Columbia, Missouri.

Light sword 9110 Fire works great outdoors, but indoors, or while practicing, lights work better, or at least safer. For interesting images, lights often work better too. So I also built a pair of "light swords." These are simply wooden sticks with battery powered colored lights taped to them. In October of 1986 I was performed with the Sphyre of Promethus using fire outside and with these colored light swords inside for Lizzie West's Howloween ball. Her encouragement and enthusiasm have meant a great deal to both my fire dancing and my photography. When I got inside I found myself being photographed by all kinds of people as I danced with these light sticks. One in particular had a full size DSLR on a monopod, but instead of planting it and making a time exposure, he was dancing with it. He came over to me, quite excited and showed me what he'd captured. It turned out he had been doing light paintings for 20 some odd years and was greatly inspired by this new way he'd just found of making light paintings. His name is Peter Anger and the image he made that night he called Equivalent. One thing led to another and after a couple of joint studio sessions as well as a session done in the gallery where the show would hang with several dancers on hand and much discussion and further work, we put on a collaborative show at the Davis Gallery on the Stephens college campus in Columbia, Missouri.