Friday, 30 December 2011

Patrick Rochon

Patrick Rochon

Patrick Rochon is a photographer best known for his light paintings. He used to do 'traditional' photography but in 1997 when he flew Tokyo he decided to dedicate all his time to his art and called himself a light painter and never did traditional photography again. In most of his light paintings he always collaborates with dancers and performers, fashion, high-end products, nudes and cars.

light paintings are easy to create. At night or in the dark, put a camera on a tripod or on a stable flat surface. open the shutter on the camera for an extended period of time, then with a light or multiple lights move around in front of the camera. Close the shutter on the camera when the painting is finished. There are two ways you can create light paintings, you can either light paint onto a subject so that certain areas are lit up or you can turn the light towards the lens to draw what you want. The exposures can be as long as you want or as long as you camera allows.

Toyota Altezza, Japan 1998

While Patrick Rochon was in Japan he was introduced by photographer Mark Higashino to Itaru Sugita an art director and graphic designer. In 1998 Itaru Sugita was working on a presentation for Toyota Altezza and Patrick Rochon said "why don't you light paint it?" as a joke but he said it's a good idea and that's when ideas started flowing as to how to illuminate the car in a light painting.

He first started by light painting on a miniature toy car with aluminium foil in the background to present the concept to Toyota. He then went on to test it on a real car. They did a test in the studio with a different car then the Altezza, all with 4x5 format cameras, shooting with 4 or 5 different cameras and one being Polaroid film. They shot for 2 days in the studio then presented it to Toyota and spent one more day shooting with Patrick Rochon adding his style to it. On the day of the shoot he had music blasting while he was dancing around with the light painted on and around the car. He did about 15hours of light painting a day over a period of 3 days in a row. some of the camera exposures lasted up to 30 minutes. Patrick Rochon and Toyota ended up doing an exhibition at Spiral Hall in Tokyo, they had post card books, posters in subways and magazine pages. They also did a promotion video shoot with light painting directed by Keiichiro Mukai.   

In his series of paintings of the Toyota Altezza he used various coloured lights to create a dramatic effect to illuminate the car. He used both forms of creating light paintings in his work. He shone the lights directly at and around the car to create coloured reflections off of the car, he also shone the lights directly at the camera lens to create different forms of light. The lights may look like they have been randomly drawn but I think that care and precision has gone into thinking about the reflections are different shapes that will be on and around the car. I personally like this series of light paintings to his other paintings. I like the fact that he has done work with other subjects rather than just people, as there is more elements within the photographs such as the reflections and use of the spacing around the car. 

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