Photographer Stephen Orlando Uses Light to Capture the Movement of Musicians

The Ontario-based Photographer Stephen Orlando takes the movement of musicians through light painting. As part of his Motion Exposure series, photographer handed violinists and cellists bows affixed with multicolored lights and asked them to play. These custom bows, combined with a low-light setting and a long exposure, make for photographs that turn small movements into shining bands of colour.


Orlando explains:

“A relative motion between the performer and camera must exist for the light trails to move through the frame. I found it easier to move the camera instead of the performer. The LEDs are programmed to change color to convey a sense of time. The progression of time is from left to right in the viola and violin photos and from top to bottom in the cello photos. Each photo is a single exposure and the light trails have not been manipulated in post processing.”


Bach Cello Suite No. 1 Prelude


Viola III



Violin I



Seitz Concerto No. 2, 3rd Movement



Viola – Bach Cello Suite No. 1 – Three Bowings


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