Light Painting

Here & Now

So here we are, 129 years after Messieurs Marey and Demeny attached glowing bulbs to the arms and legs of an unnamed assistant, and created the first-known light painting photograph: “Pathological Walk From in Front”.

To set the record straight, my photographs are not digitally created, nor have they been manipulated or adjusted with editing software. No trickery, no cut-and-pasting. Just a single, long-exposure photograph.

There is no 'secret' to creating them - as such - though I like to compare the technique to 'magic'. Therefore, if someone reveals how a particular magic trick was achieved, the art behind the illusion is somewhat of an anti-climax.

But How Did I Get Here?

My early days are somewhat of a blur, but I have been reliably informed that I worked with such luminaries as Monty Python ('The Meaning of Life' 1983), Noel Edmonds ('The Late Late Breakfast Show' 1984-85) and Queen ('Live Magic at Wembley' 1986).

At the end of the 80s I left the bright lights and moved over to Television News and Current Affairs where, as a cameraman, I spent time with Roger Cook ('The Cook Report' 1990-91) and then joined Sky News in 1992 who swiftly packed me off to Bosnia (more than once). Just before I moved on, Sky flew me to South Africa to witness Nelson Mandela taking office in 1994.

The following year I joined the Associated Press who insisted (as a manager) that I wore a shirt and tie and act like a grown-up. This didn’t suit me as I wanted to go out and play. So 2 years later I packed up and moved to Paris where I reverted to being a cameraman. I covered the death of Lady Diana (1997) and the French winning the soccer World Cup (1998). With CNN I covered the Kosovan War (1999-2000) and shook hands with Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Helmut Kohl and Lech Wałęsa (though not all at the same time, you understand).

The rest is all far too long and boring to go into detail now.

Needless to say, after the best part of 19 years, at the end of 2014, I moved back to the UK.​

Photos & Frames

My photographs are printed in the German town of Erftstadt (take the A1 from Cologne and then exit 108-Erftstadt) using ultraHD machines and the frames are handmade to order from sustainably sourced wood in Kent (UK).

Until the shop is sorted, I sell 2 types of framed image: a 30cm x 25cm box frame (with a double mount) and a 50cm x 40cm thin black frame. Both styles are beautifully finished and contain real glass, not a cheap substitute. Although I understand that frames are a highly personal choice, if you'd rather supply your own, then of course photographs can be bought separately.

Anyway, have a wander around the site and if you have any questions, drop me a line here.


Copyright Stuart McAlister. All rights reserved.

Early Days

The birth of 'Light Painting' dates back to 1889 when two Frenchmen (a scientist and an inventor, bien sûr) used it to trace human motion whilst walking.

In layman’s terms, Light Painting is a technique involving a long exposure photograph whilst moving a light source in front of the lens.

A few of the more reputable names who toyed with the art include Man Ray, Picasso and Henri Matisse.