BCES Art Day

April 25 was Art Day at Bleckley County Elementary School here in Cochran.  I was one of the artists invited to show the kids what I do.  I wanted to show something they probably havent done before, rather than, “My name is James…I am a photographer…here is my camera…..here are some pretty pictures….ooooohhhhh….aaaaahhhh….”  So I showed them something called “light painting.”  Basically for this setup, I had my camera (canon 5D) stuck over a toilet, a sony handycam next to it, and a remote running outside the bathroom.  The camera was wired into my laptop and the video was fed through the computer also so the other kids could watch the action from the classroom. Light painting (in this form at least) is simply going into a dark room, setting the camera on the bulb setting (or several second exposure) and dragging a light through the frame. Set the fstop somewhere around 5.6 and do some test shots, the distance from the camera and the brightness of the light will vary what aperture you need to set.

As far as the lights, i made them the week before.  just a little PVC, LEDs, wire, and some batteries and creativity.  The kids had the choice of red, white, blue, or yellow.

I think they really enjoyed it, and i hated that more couldn’t participate, but there was no way I could let 525 kids go through that day.  I think about 80 did.  I have a new found respect for teachers (especially my wife) after Art Day, I was exhausted, and of course, the kids got me sick…lol, but it’s all good and I’ve already plotted what to do if I’m invited back next year!


The Camera Setup – I had an LED flashlight on the shelf so the kids wouldt be in total darkness…

One Example (this student used all 4 lights

Video of the kids and the pictures they made:



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