Domestic fireworks when the lights go out

lightpainting_loresNovember 5, 2009: The local Bonfire Night shows were few, far and in-between; the Coop fresh out of sparklers. And besides, it was raining. 

In creative frustration, we came up with the idea of photographing indoor fireworks – Pete suggested throwing some bicarbonate of soda onto the gas ring, or salt, or pepper. I suggested a safer option: domestic prettiness in the form of standby lights, digital clockfaces, blinking answer machine light, candles, pilot light, torches etc. In the modern home, it’s amazing what you find when you turn off the lights.

That’s when I discover my old Powerball – the world’s fastest hand-held gyroscope. 

So with a whirring gyroscope in one hand, I switch off the lights and press the shutterbutton on the camera, which is placed on a tripod in front of a mirror. Then it’s 10 seconds of lightpainting, then 8, 6, finally settling on 4 seconds for optimum alien prettiness.

The full set are all on my Flickr page – I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. The shapes are the main thing so I’ve played with the colour balance in Photoshop. The gyroscope ones sort of remind me of the Aliens set.

Here are Pete’s photos, with some cool multiple exposure shots.

So, all in all, a hardworking but pretty nice Bonfire Night.