Data + Design Project


Friday 12.30.2011 , Posted by

I’m going to get this out of the way right here in the beginning: none of these flashy, surreal photographs where Photoshopped. UK based light artist Ian Hobson, who humorously and humbly calls his work “Waving Torches at Things,” creates some of the best images we’ve ever seen in light painting. His newest works exude a flowing, painterly, yet digital aura, coloring the abandoned buildings he often uses as his art space with vibrant dashes and swooshes of light.

His images are created using very long photographic exposures, capturing the paths of the home-made “torches” he waves before the camera. He uses everything from lightsaber like cathode light tubes, to LEDs and spinning strings of flaming wool. His first attempts at light painting involved creating floating spheres, which still find their way into many of his works. Below is just a small sampling of his vast collection of photographs, you can see more at his website and over a thousand (!) on flickr.

A bit of the secret behind Hobson’s methods: a battery powered cathode light tube, made into a handheld torch.

An glimpse of Hobson at “work”:

A jellyfish created by flinging flaming wool.

Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr

Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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