Peter Andres · Retrospektive


Chapter 8

Lights – Playing with light

Let there be light!

Portrait photography is the classic work for photographers. Everyone strives in this discipline. Me too. The result is usually excellent static images, suitable for archiving for (almost) eternity.

But why just put a model up, screw around with the lighting and move it around, then press the shutter button on the camera? The photo models can do something too...

Urbex Photo Session

Light games?

Shaping light yourself, freedom with and in light! The latest fashion as light? What do clothes made of light look like? «Light fashion»?
LIGHTS ― There is nothing more fascinating than playing with light!

Come on, get experimenting!

My classic portrait photography suffered «a little» as a result. But only slightly. And due to a lack of staff, I couldn't just relax behind the camera, but also had to sit in front of it. Experiments also have certain side effects.

Urbex and light painting

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Urbex Photo Session Urbex and light painting

Let there be light! Let there be light!

It was at the beginning of the 1910s. In an electronics shop I found lights lined up on a conveyor belt. Today they are called LED strips. Back then they were hard to find and completely unknown.

So, what do you do with these lights? The experiment began. The latest fashion emerged, light as a dress: "Light Fashion".

The first images in the slide video were taken with my AURAMA technique and the LED strips. Towards the end they are normal long exposures in the studio, sometimes with additional flash.

Photo Performance Photo Performance

LED light outside the house? In the wilderness of new photographic discoveries?

Yes, of course! Old, run-down buildings and factories, better known as Abandoned Places, are extremely well suited as a field for photographic experimentation.

An early photo performance, created in the summer of 2012.


Photo Performance, 2012 - Urbex and Light Photo Performance, 2012 - Urbex and Light Photo Performance, 2012 - Urbex and Light Photo Performance, 2012 - Urbex and Light Photo Performance, 2012 - Urbex and Light Photo Performance, 2012 - Urbex and Light

And much more — Urbex light painting And much more — Urbex light painting

Light painting

For photographers and videographers, light is the central element. Without light there is nothing, no pictures, no videos, just black!

Light opens up unimagined possibilities: image design, image modulation, alienation and much more. The design possibilities with light are almost unlimited.

Light and transience? And that in an environment consecrated to the past? Light graffiti?

Yes! They also have a lot of advantages over normal graffiti that we are familiar with, because they only last a moment and are free of lasting impairments. So go ahead!

Berlin Bernau Berlin Bernau

Urbex enlightened

Modulated light in an ingenious, unconventional environment, as an interaction with other people. And all this without disturbing elements such as clothes, but with full concentration on encounters and movement.

It is a wonderful experience to play freely with light!

Modulated light Modulated light

The interaction

The contrasts in the images couldn't be greater!

On the one hand there is the light compared to the darkness of the surroundings, on the other hand the nakedness and mobility of the bodies compared to the rigidity and hardness of the rusty machines.

But one thing remains: the transience of our bodies and that of the buildings and machines.

Photo Performance – Transience of Light, Machines and Bodies 1 Photo Performance – Transience of Light, Machines and Bodies 2
Theatre of Light Light drawing Light drawing Greeting with light


Light Drawing Light Music Light Music Theatre of Licht Between Light Light Drawing Light Thoughts Light Thoughts Light Drawing Between Light Enlighten Light Act Light Act Light Act Light Act Light Act

Here you can see more light paintings as a slide show. The video is a compilation of six individual videos. It shows images from six photo and video sessions from 2016 to 2018. Only Extended Fashion was created in the studio in 2019.

Details here

About the LED sticks About the LED sticks

I'm often asked how I take these pictures and what technique I use. It's actually quite simple. You take something that glows, swing it through the air and take a photo. However, with a long exposure, about five to ten seconds. That's all.

I found the first LED strips in an electronics shop at the beginning of the 1910s. Glued to a rail, soldered to a long cable and a battery box at the other end of the cable. That was my introduction to using LED technology. It wasn't ideal, because the cables were a nuisance and were visible in the picture despite movement during the shot.

The next generation of my LED sticks had the batteries integrated into the sticks. There was nothing ready-made to buy back then. Therefore, each stick is a self-made unique item. The construction was not exactly easy, because the batteries also have to be charged. Normal batteries were also unsuitable, because they only had 1.5 volts. The LEDs needed 12 volts, however. The new lithium-ion batteries were the solution. These are now installed in almost all portable electronic devices. However, handling these batteries is not as easy as with conventional batteries.

In the third generation of LED sticks, I also built remote-controlled electronics for selecting the color and brightness of the LEDs. The fourth generation was then a little more compact.

A fifth generation is not planned, as these sticks are now available ready-made. They can also be programmed, for example to write text with light. But I find that less interesting and less useful for my style of photography.

Me with LED sticks Me with LED sticks

To Chapter 9:     Extended Dimensions To Chapter 7:     Image thoughts
Bild: Author Peter Andres
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