Light Writing

Matt Canale - Light Worker
There’s definitely something about writing things in light that is super fun. If you have the technology I highly suggest going out and doing this. There are few artist out there saying anyone can go out and do what they do. In this case I am totally saying that anyone can go out and do what I do. All you need is a camera with long exposure settings, darkness, and a hand held light source. There’s a little to learn about ISO, shutter speed, and aperture but most of the editing is done in the camera. Seeing what light situation looks the best. Part of the fun is the anticipation that’s built while creating the image. No matter how many times you write a word, there’s no way to know exactly how it will come out until you preview it. I guess it helps to practice writing words backwards and developing an intuitive understanding of how to space letters but its pretty easy to pick up.
When I was in first grade my teacher would do this thing called sky writing. It’s when you put your finger in the air with your arm stretched out and draw letters and words out. I guess it was a learning technique that was invented to save paper. Beats me. After a while I really got transported back to Mrs. Carters class room. Another nice thing is that there are so many variables taking place and no real way to know if what I’m doing is actually what I’m looking for that I’m able to relax and have fun with it. I look at the shapes that I create and its like the mark making of a child. It is something that I didn’t think I would ever be able to recreate in my own work.
I feel like a cave painter crossed with a graffiti artist. Working in near darkness not fully knowing if what I am creating will turn out as I’ve seen it in my own mind. In the same moment I am working as fast as I can so I can finish before the shutter closes. There are certain settings that definitely allow me some more time but I don’t like taking longer that I need. I find that when I move too slowly some of the life is lost. I think that’s one of the things that makes graffiti so appealing to me. There’s an inherent time limit. The movement has to be instant and instinctual. It’s so refreshing for me to create these things. So often I create things that take days or weeks. I’d like to think I’m present for the creation of those pieces but when I create these photos I have to be present. There’s no other way and I find that I can will myself into the present moment. There’s no other place I’d rather be.