Surreal Skate Park After Dark Light Graffiti by Ben Matthews

Glowing against the night sky, these haunting light sculptures are part of the latest spectacular craze sweeping the photography world. A dentist by day, inspired Ben Matthews from Guildford, Surrey, brings the South East to life with mesmerising images using only lights and long exposure. In one shot, a golfer drawn entirely from white light […]

Glowing against the night sky, these haunting light sculptures are part of the latest spectacular craze sweeping the photography world.

A dentist by day, inspired Ben Matthews from Guildford, Surrey, brings the South East to life with mesmerising images using only lights and long exposure.

In one shot, a golfer drawn entirely from white light checks his next shot on the putting green at Guildford Golf Course while in another an eerie angel hovers over a children’s skatepark.

Also in the spectacular British series an old-fashioned train at a children’s playground is transformed into a poignant picture with blazing strips.

Ben, 26, said: ‘At 16, I started taking a camera to college everyday after finding it in a closet. This was back in the days of film, so I had to wait days before I discovered how any of my experiments had turned out.

‘Early March last year, frustrated by getting home from work after dark and having nothing to photograph, I decided to construct my own images from long exposures and moving light sources.

‘It was all centred around a local play park involving various swing sets, climbing frames, wooden frames used as goals, and the trees around them.

‘Things were experimental rather than deliberate at the beginning. I used one single mini-maglite at first but soon realised its limitations and starting collecting a variety of torches.

‘I’ve now even built a few of my own torches to create very special effects I want to capture on camera’.

Devoted to his unusual hobby, Ben has so far captured over 400 light paintings.

‘My skatepark work has probably been my favourite,’ he added.

‘The very smooth flowing lines of the lightpainting combined with the very manmade elements of the skatepark, set against a very natural green landscape creates some fascinating mixtures of colours, textures and shapes.’

The light graffiti is created by using long exposure settings on the camera, combined with the movement of coloured lights in front of the lens.

In many of the images Ben runs around in front of the watching camera to create the patterns he wants. The long exposure setting and wearing darker clothes stops him from being detected in the image.

In photography, exposure is the total amount of light allowed to fall on the photographic medium (photographic film or image sensor) during the process of taking a photograph. Exposure is measured in lux seconds, and can be computed from exposure value (EV) and scene luminance over a specified area.
In photographic jargon, an exposure generally refers to a single shutter cycle. For example: a long exposure refers to a single, protracted shutter cycle to capture enough low-intensity light, whereas a multiple exposure involves a series of relatively brief shutter cycles; effectively layering a series of photographs in one image. For the same film speed, the accumulated photometric exposure (H) should be similar in both cases.

In photography, exposure is the total amount of light allowed to fall on the photographic medium (photographic film or image sensor) during the process of taking a photograph. Exposure is measured in lux seconds, and can be computed from exposure value (EV) and scene luminance over a specified area.

In photographic jargon, an exposure generally refers to a single shutter cycle. For example: a long exposure refers to a single, protracted shutter cycle to capture enough low-intensity light, whereas a multiple exposure involves a series of relatively brief shutter cycles; effectively layering a series of photographs in one image.

For the same film speed, the accumulated photometric exposure (H) should be similar in both cases. [Ben Mattews via Skate Boarding Magazine via Environmental Graffiti]

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