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  • by Cece Scott

Patrick Rochon: A journey with light

“Light painting is an expression of our true selves. It’s about the trace we create and leave behind. It enhances your imagination, wakes up your intuition, and reflects who you are and where you are at. It is a mirror of the soul.” –Patrick Rochon

“Light painting,” explains artist Patrick Rochon, “is a photography-based art form where the creator moves handheld lights in the dark during a long exposure.” First developed in 1889, the art of light painting illumination through long exposure was popularized by the iconic Man Ray, who used the technique for his 1935 Space Writing series. “I always loved Man Ray’s path as a photographer,” Rochon says.

Rochon studied photography in college, and at first was more a practitioner of ubiquitous photography than of a specific or dominant genre. Curiosity ignited his exploration of the intricacies and creativity inherent within the photographic art form. It was that thirst for a singular creative expression that influenced his study of light painting. “When I first saw a black and white picture of a plant another student had made, each leaf lit with a stroke of light, I saw the creative potential; that was the spark, the trigger. In something simple, I saw a world of possibilities,” he says. This decision was fortified for Rochon when, on a trip to Tokyo, he realized that his mindset was totally captured with the art of light painting. It was a life-changing and art-changing epiphany that allowed him to free himself from what he felt were the restrictions of traditional photography and instead let him pursue a path of open-ended creative freedom through light painting. “It’s the magic that comes out of it,” Rochon says, “the unexpected results, the surprises and the synchronicities that occur while creating that get me excited. These moments are teaching me, guiding me towards new directions, opening doors I could not see before.”