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The WoW Factor – TAO LP 3

The WoW Factor – TAO LP 3

For my third article on the Art of Light Painting, I want to talk about the “wow” factor.
I’m sure all of you had a light painting showing up in your camera that triggered a “wow” inside yourself or others around you.

The Wow Factor, is the expression of amazement, wonder and when nothing else can be said. To me, it is the highest achievement, when the mind cannot grasp, while the heart has been touched, and the imagination sparked by your art work.

So what is the recipe to reach this wowness?
Most often it is a process involving many things, creating a moment that combines the emotional, the technical aspects of your art plus an element of surprise when the unexpected manifest.
Questions: Do you surprise yourself when you light painting?
In creation, does everything need to be rational, logical and controlled? They are elements to create with, but there is more to yourself.
What about the other parts of yourself like the illogical, the intuitive, the emotional, the abstract, the imagination, the spontaneous? Those are also interesting elements to create with and explore.

Art requires for us, all of us, to push and explore the various aspects of our mind, bodies, heart, and spirit. I ask of us to question, and go beyond what we know and understand right now. Doing art is like going to a foreign country that doesn’t speak your language at all, with out a phone, the internet or any friends to guide you. Art is about unraveling the other layers of yourself including the unconscious and or the subconscious.


See last months article that gives more insight on the physical intelligence: Control VS Letting Go.


The best ingredients to bringing you art to the “wow” factor, is tweaking. First, if you want to go up and beyond with light painting, you need to become a tweaker, to learn how to tweak everything.

Light painting is mainly self-thought. You do, you look you learn. So tweaking is this; for example, if you feel, the colors are clashing; tweak it. If you feel your background is disconnected to your light trails; tweak it.
If you feel your framing is off; tweak it. If you feel that the moment you are in, is in need of good music; tweak the moment with good tunes. If you feel your assistants or friends around are talking nonsense, disturbing or being noisy; tweak them too by giving them a focus, a purpose a task.
If your body is out of it; tweak it with a warm cup of tea and some food or by lying down on the ground for a moment.
Tweak whatever is inside and outside of yourself.
Tweak anything you can to make the moment a great moment where everything is flowing, working and connected all together, so you have the optimum condition to create in. This includes the clarity of your mind. Tweak, tweak, tweak it all until you get a “wow.”

Now, this is a major ingredient but not a guarantee. Time is a big one also. Putting hours into it, on a regular basis. You do have to practice your movements, free your body and understand your technique of course, but it doesn’t end there.

Break and rebuilt. When you get very good at a form of light painting, it’s time to break it. When you get comfortable with your creations, to the point of repeating yourself, then you created a pattern in your mind, and you’re on a loop. Time to break this. When you Take things apart, it allows something new to come in, it’s the start of a new process, and you will discover and learn some more. It’s infinite, there are plateaus, but no end to your creativity and the possibilities light painting offers. Reinventing your self is a key to your evolution.

I’ve learned to light paint by myself before the internet, before the digital cameras, and before anyone could teach me light painting.
There was nothing back then; we just heard about this technique vaguely like it was a rumor existing somewhere. So automatically, there was an exploration and freedom to open new doors. Nothing was established then. I learned by observing my pictures, looking at what worked and didn’t work looking for the surprises I didn’t plan or expect, reaching for the “wow.” That’s how I discovered the element of the unexpected, by doing something new to surprise myself.
It was the dark ages in a way, but it forced me to let go and create without seeing the results right away. I couldn’t control much, and I’m still practicing the same way today, pushing all of this understanding even further while refining. The more I let the other parts of myself in, like the illogical, the intuitive, the emotional, the abstract, the imagination, the more I’m learning. It’s like there is a new lesson included in every practice.

Here is a creative exercise, just for fun, light painting without looking at the result until you are done and feel it, focus inside. It will enhance other senses, other skills and give you a different result. The process is the road, make the road different, and you will see your art change and evolve.

So to sum this up, the “wow” is a combination of skills, emotions, surprises and a bunch of tweaking, basically.


Best to you in your creative adventures.











About The Author

Patrick Rochon

Painting with actual light has been a fascination for two and a half decades now. Having explored many techniques, created many different light tools and light painted thousand of pieces, I’ve come to a place of finding beauty in simplicity, opening a world of small details within a line that contains it all. To me, that is where fine art begins. Patrick is an award-winning Light Painting photographer with over 24 years of experience. First prize winner of the Nikon photo contest in Japan, Patrick has done light painting photography for various fashion, rock magazines, CD jackets, DVD covers, posters, and international ad campaigns. Clients also include Toyota and Honda. Born in Montreal, Canada, Patrick has lived mainly in Tokyo, New York and Paris for 15 years.

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