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Jurassic Shift © Fade To Black Lightart

Light Painting Interview Series – Part 6


In this series I would like to introduce you to light painting artists who inspire me regularly, who impress me with their work again and again and who are friends with whom I like to swing the lamps together.

At Light Up Berlin I joked with a light painter friend that he was the best light painter in the world. Without even 1 second of hesitation he said, “No, it’s Tim Gamble.” I don’t know if there is a best Light Painter, and above all I don’t think it is important to be the best. After all, light painting should be more about creativity, fun, physics, and most of all, the wonderful experiences while working. Light Painting is not a competition, at least not for me. However, the colleague was certainly not completely wrong. Tim Gamble regularly creates great paintings with sometimes immense, for most people unimaginable, effort.

He always has fresh, exciting ideas and translates them into expressive images. No matter how crazy and elaborate the idea is, he always has the result in mind. His often very surreal light painting images are immediately put into the digital art category by most viewers, although he does the exact opposite. This even led to a blocking of his account at 500px, a platform that is almost exclusively about sophisticated post-processing and not about good photography.

Enough of the babbling, now let’s give Tim Gamble a chance to have his say:

1. Please introduce yourself shortly. Name, Age and where you from etc.

 My name is Tim Gamble and I’m 41 years old from Manchester England.

2. How and why did you start Light Painting?

I bought my first dslr (Canon 650D) to capture memories of my new-born son. I’ve always loved photography but knew nothing of manual mode so I bought a guide to digital photography book. Inside there was half a page about light painting and it sparked something inside me. After a short while on Google I found the Ball Of Light video. A 15 minute documentary which tells the story of Denis Smith and his journey from depression, debt and alcohol and his life changing discovery of Light Painting. Ever since seeing his incredible images that was me hooked and since 2013 I have light painted every week.

3. What means Light Painting for you? What is yor motivation? What drives you?

I’m motivated to light paint for many reasons, mainly the insatiable need to create. I’m not one for sitting in front of the tv so taking myself off to a dark room and creating some images is my way to unwind and de-stress. When I don’t light paint my mood worsens and life tends to get on top of me but as soon as the lights go out and my camera is sat on the tripod everything is well with the world.

4. What gear do you always carry with you?

My staple tool which I always carry with me is my camera rotation tool. Designed and created by Chris Thompson and his brother Alan. That is one tool I could not be without as it opens up so many compositional possibilities. I don’t own an auto lens as I find manual ones so much more versatile, helping me to swap lenses and change apertures mid-exposure much more easily. I also own a full set of Light Painting Brushes tools as I’m a brand ambassador for them, I don’t take them all out with me as I would need a Sherpa to carry them all but the Black Fibre Optic brush, some blades and universal connectors are always in my bag. Lastly an old pair of net curtains, used in conjunction with a universal connector, orange gel and my Ryus Lightworks modded torch I can create a beautiful fire effect with no danger of burning the model.

5. What was your most memorable Lightpainting expirience, event or moment?

My most memorable light painting experience was last year in Belgium at the Light Painters United meet up.  Meeting so many wonderful people with whom I had only ever conversed with online was a dream come true.  The locations, people and resulting images created over that weekend will stay with me forever and the hard work of the super friendly and inviting B Team is still very much appreciated. 

6. Who or what inspires you?

I draw inspiration from a great many sources. From other light painting artists, artists in other fields such as music, films, painting and advertising. Locations inspire and can have a massive impact on the final image even if it doesn’t appear anywhere in the frame. It can come from within; say an emotion I am feeling which will spark an idea or from aimless “faffing” at home which will usually give me a new effect which I will be able to implement into a shot when I’m out in the field.  

7. What is going to be the next Light Painting Tool you build or buy?

I’m currently working on a version of the Pala Teth backlight scanner which he so kindly shared with the wider community. I’m sure many people would keep such an idea to themselves but not him. A true gent and the solution to a problem which has been a headache since I started Light Painting.

8. What is your workflow? Do you work more spontaeous or do you plan out every little detail of you art?

My workflow tends to begin in my kitchen which is a sort of proving ground and a place to try different things out. A couple of weeks ago I was playing with rotating my camera around different axis which yielded a result I hadn’t seen before. The session gave me an image I was quite happy with but it didn’t look like a final image. The following week I was out with Tei in my favourite tunnel and I was able to implement the concept adding the tunnel we were in and the human form. 

9. Do you have 3 Lightpainters you would like to / dream of, to have a colaboration with?

Three light painters I would love to collab with are as follows.

  • Dana Maltby  (TCB)  I regularly trawl through his feed on Flickr and for me he has something special and his style has influenced me greatly along the way.  For me he is the best and top of my list of people I would love to collab with.
  • Ryan O’connell  (R Digi)  Is someone else who I would love to get together and paint with.  He has a raw and very individual style and comes across as a really top bloke. 
  • Jelle Schuurmans Is someone who I have long admired.  He has a super individual style and his sci-fi creations tick all of my boxes.

10. What are your best or most favourite 3 pictures?

Lightpainting, light painting, light art photography, Tim Gamble
Jurassic Shift © Fade To Black Lightart

This was shot on one of many visits to Padley Gorge with Chris Thompson.  Everything came together for this one and I can remember the sense of excitement when this popped up on the camera screen.

lightpainting, light painting, light art photography, Tim Gamble,
Point of no return © Tim Gamble

I shot this one with my mate Rob and was the most believable image I have created using refractographs. I  was particularly happy with his shadow which looks to be bowed on the wall behind.

lightpainting, light painting, light art photography, Tim Gamble
Stormborn © Tim Gamble

I love looking back at this shot as the whole evening was perfect.  Full moon, no wind, beautiful location and awesome people.  Probably my favourite evenings light painting to date. Happy times.

Finde more art of Tim Gamble aka Fade To Black Lightart here: HIVEINSTAGRAMFACEBOOKFLICKR

Thank you for the interview and the inspiration mate. 

Allways good light

Sven Gerard

Sven Gerard, Jahrgang 1969, geboren und aufgewachsen in Berlin. Er fotografiert seit frühester Jugend mit großer Leidenschaft. Neben dem fotografischen Erkunden zahlreicher beeindruckender verlassener Orte, widmet er sich seit mittlerweile 10 Jahren intensiv dem Lightpainting. Sein umfangreiches Wissen teilt er auf seinem Blog „“, weiteren Publikationen und in seinen Workshops. Darüber hinaus organisiert er Veranstaltungen zum Thema Lightpainting, wie „Light Up Berlin“. Gerard lebt gemeinsam mit seiner Lebensgefährtin in Berlin und hat einen erwachsenen Sohn. Sven Gerard was born in 1969 and grew up in Berlin. He has been a passionate photographer since his early youth. In addition to photographically exploring numerous impressive abandoned places, he has been intensively involved in light painting for 10 years now. He shares his extensive knowledge on his blog ‘’, other publications and in his workshops. He also organises events on the subject of light painting, such as ‘Light Up Berlin’. Gerard lives in Berlin with his partner and has a grown-up son.

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