Painting With Light Book Review

Painting With Light: Light Art Performance Photography

By JanLeonardo Woellert and Joerg Miedza

Rocky Nook, Santa Barbara

ISBN: 978-1-933952-74-1

The Painting With Light book is a documentation of a body of work and a process of creation that is interesting and extending of the bounds of photography.

This is not a how to book. Rather the bulk of the book documents the work of these two performance artists, because that is how I see them. The stunning images that illustrate the book document an event. So there are actually two creative works going on here: the performance itself and the artefacts (photographs) that result from it.

As I said above, this 220-page book is mostly a gallery of stunning and surprising work that is definitely worth careful examination. The imagery illustrates a real mastery by the practitioners of lighting and movement. Written sections take you through their philosophy in creating the work, the techniques, how to plan and choose a site and the actual performance. The writing is concise and effective. It gives you enough to understand the work and to give it a try yourself without become a laborious handholding.

The book is a large, landscape format book, printed on paper with a significant sheen, as you can see in the illustrations. So you may need to tilt the book to see the images well, depending on the lighting. I also found the binding glue separated partly on mine pretty quickly with handling. This wasn’t really a problem as it meant the front cover nicely lay flat when reading on a table. I haven’t had this with other Rocky Nook books, so I think it is a product of the unusual shape of the book.

This is a great book. They are all beautifully executed. I can happily recommend this book. It belongs on the bookshelf of every photographer who aspires to create rather than find the images they shoot and will give you ideas well beyond the bounds of light painting. Very highly recommended.

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