Light Painter Hannu Huhtamo

Hannu Huhtamo is a light artist from Finland who since 2008 has specialized in a form of light art known as light painting. Light painting is a form of art wherein light in a dark environment is captured by a lens over a long exposure time varying from a few seconds to multiple hours. While the lens is capturing the light, an artist will “draw” in front of it by moving various sources of light in the camera’s field of view. Hannu describes the darkness as a canvas and the light as a brush. His inspiration is drawn from the symmetry found in nature, especially in plants which he uses as a template for his work by using light to form an organic-looking virtual object. Hannu keeps the question of how we define beauty in the back of his mind when painting in unusual and seldom traveled places such as overgrown buildings. He seems to enjoy operating on the border between civilization and nature.  He is not all that good with electronics and does not believe in using photoshop, so he keeps his techniques simple such as diffusing LED flashlights with plastic bags. He picks a place where contrast is maximized such that the environment serves as nothing more than ambience for the subject at hand. His biggest challenges to light art are the freezing winds and frost often encountered in Finland’s polar nights and any ambient light that distracts from the painting.

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