These Swirly Light Paintings Look Like a Flash-Forward to the Rapture

Despite predictions to the contrary, we have yet to experience any kind of global rapture here on earth. Should believers ever get beamed up to the heavens, I kind of imagine it would be in the kind of illuminated vortices created and snapped by British photographer Martin Kimbell.


The glowing tornadoes are actually long-exposure light paintings that Kimball makes by tossing a DIY, battery-powered, LED-studded, speaker wire hoop in the air like a frisbee.

Though that sounds pretty simple, he's usually shooting on film—from two frames to sometimes, a whole roll per shot—so whether he got things right is a mystery that isn't revealed until the image is developed.


Armed with a medium format Bronica SQ and 50mm or 80mm lens, Kimball takes to the countryside in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to find a location that he thinks could use a little flash of brilliance.


Kimball was inspired by American photog Stu Jenks, but there are a lot of folks experimenting with light painting these days. With drones, psychedelic rave planes, and GIFs (natch). Unclear whether those will also teleport you to a glorious afterlife. [DIY Photography, The Creators Project, Martin Kimball/Flickr ]

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