Lightmark is an art series created by Cenci Goepel and Jens Warnecke; I came across their work a few years ago when looking at light and studying composition. This month has been about Story and adding emotion to your artwork and these are things that Lightmark does well.
In every one of their images you see two stories; the story of the landscape itself, and the one they highlight through their light artwork. You feel something when you look at these photographs, and as that’s what we’re aiming for I thought they’d be a worthwhile inspiration.
Cenci and Jens are a German couple that travel the world finding hidden landscapes to photograph and portray as a light painting. They create their pieces by photographing moving light sources at night and using a long exposure time of up to an hour to allow their sculptures to take form and ambient light to illuminate the scene. Their work focuses more on photographic techniques than post processing, something they are proud of.
In their words:
“A bit of moonlight, a
faint glow of northern lights, some modified torches or a
carefully placed fire: that is all it takes to uncover what
is hidden in the dark. And when the sun comes up the next
morning, no trace remains to show that we have ever
Interesting Parts of Their Process
Light painting, in and of itself, is a fascinating artform that anyone can try however there are a few points in Cenci and Jens’ process that allows them to create work that stands out.
Willingness to Hike
For some of their pieces the team has hiked for north of 3 hours to find the best composition for their photograph, sometimes multiple times if the weather turned out to be unsuitable! Preparation and not settling for less than a perfect result are important factors in their success.
While refining their practice they’ve tried many different types of lights. Different colours, brightnesses, blinking, static, and different pairings with lenses and exposure times. It took a long time to choose the best lamps for their toolkit, and they have modified each one to better fit their needs.
This is the main deciding factor, not the light painting itself. Not content to photograph places and landscapes that look good with the light, they search out vistas that are breathtaking on their own merit. Care is taken after the light drawing is completed to make sure the landscape itself appears in the image and is illuminated enough.
Artist Words of Advice
[If possible, track them down and ask for advice on adding story into your work, coming up with concepts, and the one piece of advice they wish they’d heard starting out]
Here are some of their pieces which I particularly like;
These artists are definitely worth keeping an eye on if you’re looking for a ready source of inspiration. Plus it’s another great example of looking outside the box to make something truly spectacular.
If you want to see more of the Lightmark series then click here to be taken to their website.