19 Dec 2013


Things really went out of my usual comfort zone on our last shoot, but it was well worth it!

Meet Susan, who got in touch via the Casting Call form I recently added to my website. Susan’s style leans towards Cybergoth, and has a great deal of colourfulness and interesting details I thought it would be great to capture in an image. After bouncing some ideas, we settled upon a concept involved light painting which would combine an electric/neon-inspired light trails along the shapes of the body. I did quite a deal of research and tests on how to achieve this effect, and what ended up working best for me was a set of brushes we built from really thin fibre optic threads, carefully bundled and attached to LED torches.

Fibre optic brushes
In the studio, the image was made by first freezing the subject using strobe lights in a warm/cool contrasty composition, which would lit her face appropriately and integrate the colours on her figure with the following light trails. Next, the shutter would be kept open (using a manual release cable) and I would start drawing the light trails, helped by a friend, using the fibre optic brushes. This stage was the hardest because we were working in complete darkness, and it took a great deal of trials to figure out the speed and length of movements which would result in the best looking trails!

The result is a bold looking portrait which has dynamism and captures more than a single static moment. This has been a great learning experience despite the technical challenges and quite a fun one to shoot as well.




  1. Love this picture of my daughter and think it would make a great poster. In fact her gran has asked me if its possible to get a large print for her. All of the other photos are brilliant which makes it hard to say which I like the best.

    1. Dear Shelly,
      Thanks for the kind words, and that’d be absolutely no problem! if you could please get in touch at jose@joseesteve.com, we can arrange the print. Thanks!

  2. Really fantastic image, thanks for the explanation on the setup!


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