Past Motions Of Canoers And Kayakers Exposed With LEDs In Long Exposure Photography


Stephen Orlando is an Ontario-based photographer with an awesome gift for taking unique photos. One of his latest projects includes using LEDs in long exposure photography to highlight the light trails left behind by canoers and kayakers. No matter what you do in life you leave behind a trail full of energy, lights, and even your scent. Orlando’s light paintings bring to life these trails we leave behind us.

Orlando uses long exposure photography and an assortment of different LED lights that flash and change colors to highlight the exact path of a moving object. None of Orlando’s photos are photoshopped, instead his method of photography, known as light painting, captures light trails left behind as a kayak moves across the water.

It doesn’t have to be a kayak though; Orlando uses light painting photography to highlight all sorts of nature and movement found in the everyday world. Check out Orlando’s awesome light paintings of kayaking, canoeing, and swimming using LEDs in long exposure photography.



Orlando’s work ranges to include a wide variety of subjects and activities, which you can check out on his website, Facebook, and Instagram. His main focus revolves around nature and urban landscapes, and anything related to human movement. Some of his other projects include movement found in waterfalls, karate, tennis, cityscapes, and bike polo.

Orlando’s official website bio reads, “I’m fascinated with capturing motion through time and space into a single photograph.” When worded like this, his gorgeous artwork looks even more intriguing.


In an Interview with Bored Panda Stephen Orlando revealed, “I’m an avid outdoor enthusiast and photographer. I also have an engineering background. These three things culminated in the production of these photos.”


Using his engineer brain, Orlando did a lot of planning and problem solving before he actually tried out the photo shoot. As a result, the shape of the light trails came as no surprise; Orlando says, “The unexpected result was how visually appealing they are.”


Due to the fact Orlando uses lights that change colors and patterns, he doesn’t miss one paddle stroke. Even after the kayak becomes invisible, the trail of movement left in its wake remains clear as a brilliant light show.



These photos might look like they are photoshopped but they are not. They are not composite images either. Instead, Orlando sites the ingredients necessary to pull off pictures like this “careful timing, proper lighting and patient friends.”


Light painting is a technique employed by many photographers. It can take on a number of different forms but generally includes moving a hand-held light while simultaneously taking long exposure pictures, creating uniquely beautiful images that often look like paintings.

Man Ray created the first light painting in 1935. In 1940 a photographer named Barbara Morgan also began using this technique, which can be accomplished using a number of different methods.

Light paintings surged in popularity in the 21st century due to dSLR cameras, LED light advancements, and social media, which allows artists to share their work with a much larger group.


While Orlando uses specially crafted LED lights, there are other light sources used to create similar results, such as a basic flashlight, candles, fireworks, or glow sticks. It’s all about getting creative, and different photographic artists employ their own techniques to a project.


Before trying to create your own light paintings, it might be beneficial to know Orlando waterproofed his LED lights prior to taking these photos!





Buy prints of these incredible photos and more on Stephen Orlando’s official website,

Check out this Van Gogh inspired solar-powered glowing bike trail in the Netherlands! 

Photo Credits: motionexposure.comFacebookInstagram