I had my first glance at light art, light painting, whatever you'd like to call it at a photography course recently. The premise is to use a light source and a long exposure to create designs by moving it around in patterns or anything eye-pleasing.
That in mind, I experimented with it for fun in my living room after the sun went down and came up with this. Nothing fantastic, and in fact, quite crude, but for me, when I saw that it was rather simple to do, I have to admit I was pretty excited. A little time in Photoshop to make the light bulb tungsten colour more pleasing, and I think I may have become hooked on yet another facet of photography. For anyone who may not know, the camera is on a tripod, an exposure time of 10 seconds, and I (wearing black) stand directly in front of the lens. With a remote in my hand to activate the shutter, I turn on a pair of flashlights which are hanging from a couple of 2 foot black wires. The flashlights are swung side to side in front of me in circles, the shutter activated and I repeat it until the shutter closes. That forms the image you see. As the shutter is only detecting the light from the flashlight, anywhere the bulb is in the frame is recorded. What a concept.
Now that's all well and good and very simple, but quite by accident, and in doing more research, I stumbled on this guy who has taken light art to an exciting level. Please check out his site and look at some of his photos. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/christopherrenfrophotography) I don't know of a place where I could try some of these things without the fire department becoming involved, but when I do, you can bet I will.
Inspiration can come from the most unlikely places. Google, YouTube, and even just a simple course can really open your eyes to new things, and I'm pretty excited about it.