Finnish fine art photographer Hannu Huhtamo masterfully uses light painting to create dynamic imagery. Whether he's creating fantastical creatures in the forest or flowers on open water, his photographs are a beautiful demonstration of patience and artistry. For one of his latest pieces, Serenity, he takes us inside the process of painting two swans on a lake.
In a behind-the-scenes video shot by his wife Sanna, we see Huhtamo creating his light painting. What makes it even more incredible is that it's impossible for Huhtamo to see exactly what he's painted until the exposure is complete. “Everything you see in the picture has really happened during the exposure,” Huhtamo tells My Modern Met. “There's something magical about it. When you draw things blindfolded, you have to concentrate fully on your body movements and muscle memory. It's challenging, but also rewarding. Such experience makes you want to push the limits higher and higher. I still find it a really inspiring way to express myself.”
Depending on how detailed the composition is, it can take Huhtamo about a week to learn to draw the image with light. He begins each piece with a sketch before turning to his light tools. Likening the process to learning choreography, he then practices the drawing in sections. By the time he makes his way to the location, he's well-rehearsed and ready to go.
When he's in the moment and on location, Huhtamo finds the entire process meditative. He carefully selects the settings for his light paintings in order to create a connection between the environment and what's drawn. In doing so, he hopes to create an illusion that what is painted is a natural part of the scene.