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You may remember the lowly Spirograph toy from your youth and the joy of geometric art it created. Now you can mix your love of old time kitschy toys with your love of lomo.

If you remember the theory behind the Spirograph toy from back in the day it is basically a plastic template that you can place a pen or pencil in a little plastic widget and then put that into another plastic widget and spin that pencil around to get very structured complicated looking geometric image. These kinds of images make it look like you have spent hours calculating formulas to build this atomic age treasure. Recently I stumbled upon a way to incorporate this technique with my love of lomo light painting.

A while back I got some LED patio umbrella lights. These lights are round plastic disks that are battery operated and have many little LED lights all around the boarder of the plastic disk. They are meant to go under the patio umbrella to light your summer evenings. I use them for good light placement on my long exposure still lifes. Recently I tried doing some light writing with them and found that the round disks do something crazy. If you don’t keep the lights on exactly the same dimensional plane when moving them then you get these dramatic and graceful lines and intersections of these lines. So basically if you spin the disk at all while moving it or move it closer or farther from the cam, or even turn the disk a little on its side during the light writing process you get these bizarre and intricate patterns.

You can even do like me and throw the disks through the air and catch it later just to see what happens. Additionally these umbrella lights can be adjusted by covering over some of the lights with color gels or even duck tape and by doing this you change the patterns by changing the color or blacking out lights and changing the patter of the lights. So try it out with your favorite long exposure camera and play like you did in elementary school.

written by kylethefrench

17 comments

  1. trashpilotin

    trashpilotin

    this is awsome! i wonder where to get these discs... ;)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. kylethefrench

    kylethefrench

    ah i got mine at a local store in the springtime but you can get them anytime of the year on amazon or ebay, they are pretty cheap too

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. sobiksaabik

    sobiksaabik

    Very good idea!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. bloomingwreath

    bloomingwreath

    9th photo is awesome!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. trashpilotin

    trashpilotin

    @kylethefrench found it on amazon, thanks for the idea :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  6. kerpella

    kerpella

    FREAKIN COOL! Keep it up man!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  7. kylethefrench

    kylethefrench

    Can I say I really like that so many people like this tip

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  8. pepper-b

    pepper-b

    How cool!!!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  9. lyndxe

    lyndxe

    incredible - thanks for the inspir(ograph)ation!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  10. miss_maha

    miss_maha

    Amazingly awesome!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  11. lakandula

    lakandula

    Very inspiring work!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  12. nock

    nock

    The craziness of Light Graffitti! :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  13. clickiemcpete

    clickiemcpete

    So THAT'S how you did it! I was wondering... :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  14. pedrogalvez

    pedrogalvez

    I don't know if I'll can sleep tonight! I can't wait to get some light.
    Thank you for come in!!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  15. pedrogalvez

    pedrogalvez

    I don't know if I'll can sleep tonight! I can't wait to get some light.
    Thank you for come in!!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  16. welland

    welland

    Great Tip

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  17. traaaart

    traaaart

    whoa! i was just looking at your flicks of this and found this article! I have one of these lights and figured this out a couple months ago by accident!
    http://www.lomograph(…)os/14469851
    good call with the colored gels! that looks really cool!

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam

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