Sønderborg in a Different Light

Sometimes photographs can make things you see every day look new and interesting. That’s how I felt when I came across Anne-Kathrin Pries‘ pictures where she paints with light in Sønderborg.


I asked Anne-Kathrin a couple of questions about these photos:

How did you get the idea for these light photos?

I get inspired by other photographers. I saw some night pictures where they used a torch to paint/lighten up the foreground, and I tried that and was hooked. On Flickr.com I found other people from around the world who take lightpainting pictures.

The light photos you take have a very magical feel to them. How do you create them?

I take these pictures in a completely dark environment, preferably where there are no city lights.
I take a longetime exposure (keeping the camera lense open for a long time) which can take up to 10 minutes if it is dark enough and I walk into the picture with a light source while my camera stands on the tripod and captures the movement of my light.
First I started to paint with common torches but you can use everything that lights up. I found some toys like a Star Wars sword, which is very useful. I got some good results with steel wool too. It burns very brightly and can illuminate a big area.

Do you get these photos in one take or do you spend whole nights running around with saber swords and sparklers?

The most exciting part is that you never know how the picture will look like in the end. It depends on how much light is around or if it’s full moon, then you won’t have so much time for painting and when it is really dark you can often sit for hours and wait until the camera has collected enough light. The hardest part is to focus when it is dark, you can’t really do it … sometimes I spend hours and afterwards I find out that my picture isn’t sharp :-/. Another thing is you can’t really see what you paint or where in the photo you place your light… but after some time you get a feeling for it.

Which is your favourite photo and why?

It is this one. I used a bicycle light for that and this was my second try in painting people. It is really difficult cause you need to turn off the light, after drawing one arm, to go back and draw the head, and so on. It can easily turn into a big squiggle. For this couple I just needed only one try and it was perfect … I didn’t think I would get this.

One last thing, what’s you favorite place in Sonderborg and why?

My favorite place is this one. I love the water and the beach, I take most of my pictures there:-)

See more photos by Anne-Kathrin on her website or her flickr account.

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