Brian Matthew Hart: Light Paintings

Brian Matthew Hart: Light Paintings

The root word “photo-” means light. It is derived from the Greek words “phos” and “photos.” The suffix “-graphy” means writing. It is derived from the Latin root “graphia.”

Brian Matthew Hart is a photographer or light writer depending on how up to date you are on your Etymology. He actually seems to prefer the term Light Painter. Using long exposure photography, a dark room and various different flashlights, he paints full scenes in varying degrees of complexity. He uses mostly red, blue, green, and yellow due to the way they show up. His exposure times range in length from a few seconds to a half-hour depending on what he is trying to accomplish.

Hart’s work speaks to the core technical aspects of photography as well as the more whimsical and personal sides of documenting images. The light tends to give off the look of brush strokes in some of them. My favorites are the ones where he traced over his subjects, and their ghostly portrait remains framed by the light. They leave an all-together creepy yet somehow still playful feeling with the viewer.

The images posted here are from his most recent series, a collaboration with Dena Pickering in a Western-Illinois attic on the night of October 15th, 2011. It is titled ‘Illinois 4.’ The series perfectly highlights the techniques Hart uses as well as showcases the beauty of what he does.

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