Light can become a paintbrush that giveslife to dark landscapes. 31-year-old LA-based artist and Instagrammer Dar ren Pearson has created stunning characters using long-exposure light painting techniques. Dinosaurs, unicorns and even aliens are some of what Pearson has spawned using his clever camera trickery.

What inspired you to do light painting?

I began light painting in 2007 after picking up a LIFE photo book and seeing this image of Picasso using light to draw a centaur in 1949. For me, the photo repre - sented an intersection of two art forms: illustration and photography. This was my Eureka moment.

What is the process to create the images?


The process is called light painting through use of long exposure photography. Basically, the camera is on a tripod at night, and I illustrate toward the lens with a torch. The camera picks up trails wherever I move the light. I can’t see it, but I try and imagine what it will look like when I’m done.

How do you choose the right place to do light painting?

I usually look forareas like national parks, abandoned structures,
or interesting geological formations. Often, I use satellite imagery to plan the trip scouting at sunset, and begin shooting when the skies are dark.

Do you use special equipment to create the images?

I use a variety of tools to create the images - a self-made LED light-pen for the white lines, light attachments for the larger colored lines, and LED light-pods and gelled spotlights for coloring the environment.

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