Light painting is the process of capturing light over long exposure shots, often creating words, quirky characters and flowing lines by waving a small light source such as a flashlight in sequence in front of a camera. Though many artists enjoy the challenges and rewards that come with light painting, many are also frustrated by its limitations. Bitbanger Labs, a maker group based in Brooklyn, New York, is hoping to lift some of those limitations.
Pixelstick by Bitbanger is an image reader that projects small images through a series of LED lights arranged in a straight line. Pixelstick displays images one line of pixels at a time and can increment through a series of images over multiple exposures on your camera. This means Pixelstick will open light painting from single exposure trends to a world of timelapse photography, allowing for a new sort of animated pieces made through light photography. Bitbanger is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for production and sign up future buyers; with 40 days left in its campaign, Pixelstick has already raised more than twice its pledged goal of $110,000!
The makers explain that Pixelstick increases the possibilities of light painting, writing on their Kickstarter campaign:
Lightpainting involves thinking creatively and trying outlandish ideas in the pursuit of amazing pictures. Pixelstick broadens the horizon of what’s possible. Over many months of shooting we found Lightpainting to be more entertaining and more rewarding than ever. We were consistently amazed by what we were able to capture; we can’t wait to see what you can do with it, too.”
What Can You Make With Pixelstick?
Using Pixelstick you can create abstract and photorealistic images in real places and capture them on camera. Using sequences of images from Pixelstick and multiple exposures you can even create GIFs and other forms of animation. Check out some examples below or at Pixelstick’s Imgur account:
Pixelstick Tech Specs
Pixelstick is a wand-shaped object that consists of 198 full color RGB LED lights housed inside aluminum. The machine reads images from an SD card, displaying them one line at a time. Each LED corresponds to a single pixel in the image, meaning that images are limited to a maximum of 198 pixels tall but can be many thousands of pixels wide. Pixelstick is equipped with a perpendicular handle which allows it to spin freely, and the machine runs on eight AA batteries which the makers claim will bring you through an entire night of shooting.
For more information about Pixelstick, check out this Kickstarter video by Bitbanger Labs: