Drawing with Light

This art activity is a great, physical project for those days before spring or summer break when students need to release energy—and will also support your class’s planning and teamwork skills.

Although it is popular now to “draw with light” (http://bit.ly/Y308xY) to create photographs (a Google image search reveals lots of different ideas), many of the photographers featured in Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America had been using this technique for some time. For example, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy experimented with this technique, and you can see his “light drawing” work in slideshow form in the exhibition. Hy Hirsch was another artist who gave light drawing a try in his Come Closer (1952) film.

Give your class a chance to try this out. Use these instructions to get started. You will need a camera that can take long exposures (like a DSLR camera). Your art teacher or technology integration specialist should be able to help with the materials.

Students will need to decide together in advance what they want to “draw” as a class. Will they include words—what words? Will they create outlines of objects—what objects? This is a great opportunity for practicing teamwork and leadership that results in an image that everyone can be proud of.

Have students decide on a creative way to share and display their light drawing, such as on the school website or in a hallway or the cafeteria.