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Swarm #2

Posted by
David (place to place, United States) on 22 July 2016 in Animal & Insect.

This image was created by taking a nighttime long exposure of many Christmas lights of various colors and styles. During the exposure, I spun the camera around to create this swirling composition. Then, as usual, I took these images of mostly bright blue streaks and color inverted them, revealing a much more interesting menagerie of color.

The marks that look like dotted lines came from LED light bulbs. Like fluorescent lights, they imperceptibly flicker. Although the human eye perceives a constant stream of light, they are in fact constantly turning on and off at a rate so fast, we don't even notice it. When such lights move quickly past the aperture during a long-exposure, the flickering becomes apparent in the resulting photo. Rather than registering as a constant line, the soaring LEDs become the dotted marks in the image above.

SONY DSC-P200 2/1 second F/5.6 ISO 400 8 mm

The acronym, P.E.P.P.E.R., stands for " stands for "purely experimental photography produces exciting results." I combine seemingly random exposure techniques with obscure or mundane subject matters. When all is finished, a surprise emerges. The mundane, micro, and meaningless is revealed beautiful, grand, and purposeful. Nothing is meaningless. The experiment works.

I use 100% in-the-camera photo techniques, with the exception of very sparse editing, mostly of color-inversion.

Shop for prints of my photography at P.E.P.P.E.R. on Fine Art America

See more of my artwork at

2/1 second
ISO 400
8 mm