I subscribe to the Rangefinder blog site (a partner of WPPI) and this week they focused on a new technique called a Lightograph, a patent pending technique developed by Jeremy Cowart. Similar to a Cinemograph, a Lightograph is a moving photograph. But….and this is an important distinction, instead of the subject moving, the light moves!
Jeremy Cowart is a photographer that I admire immensely. For one thing, he’s a neighbor. He, his wife and their 4 kids live in Franklin, TN (just across the state line from my home state of Alabama). But aside from the fact that he’s a fellow Southerner, Jeremy is also the founder of Help-Portrait–a program that enables photographers, make-up artists, and hairstylists the opportunity to collaborate on a mission of giving people who otherwise couldn’t afford photography, a chance to capture a moment, a memory and a whole lot more. For one day a year, photographic teams participating in Help Portrait find people in need, take their portraits, print their portraits and deliver them–free of charge. Every time I read the stories of people who have been the benefactors of Help Portrait, I get a bit teary eyed. We all know the power of a photograph in changing the world. In Help Portrait, it also changes personal lives.
But, as usual, I digress. The purpose of this posting was to talk about lightographs. I have been intrigued, in the past, about cinemographs and have played around with the technique. But I had never even considered the possibility of a moving photo where the subject remains stable and only the light changes. Cowart says the format allows a single graphic to tell more than one story. “It forever changes what’s possible in portraiture,” Cowart wrote in a Facebook post. “After all, humans are multidimensional. We are heroes, but we are also villains. We love, and we lose. We grieve, and we hope. We may stall, but we are never idle. Our breath and blood wave through our bodies like the ocean. For the first time, this incredibly complex symphony of the human experience can be reflected back to us in photographic form, composed with light and captured in a Lightograph.”
I got excited when I saw my first lightograph and decided I would give it a shot. This video is my first (feeble and amateurish, I know, I know ?? ) attempt at a lightograph.
If you would like to see some REALLY GOOD lightographs, then check out lightograph.com . You can also rent a tutorial by Jeremy Cowart on The Art of Lightoraphy that is available on the website. While, granted, my attempt at a lightograph would benefit greatly from his tutelage, I thought the rental price for the tutorial was a bit steep. But I do think the concept is a novel one and provides a new source of inspiration for photographers like me.