Light paintings: Allosaurus crossing stream

All photos: Darren Pearson

There's endless potential when it comes to long-exposure photography, whether you're shooting gorgeous night time landscapes, swirling star trails or soft misty streams.

For Los Angeles-based artist Darren Pearson, long-exposure techniques allow for a melding of both photography and drawing. Although many people use firework sparklers and other light sources to play around with a camera, Pearson takes it a step further by using a handheld LED light to draw astonishingly detailed images of dinosaurs, skeletons and wild animals into each scene.

In addition to still light paintings, Pearson also creates stop-motion videos featuring this long-exposure technique. His most recent video, "Lightspeed," is comprised of 1,139 individual stills and took over a year to complete:

So how does he do he create these quirky 'light paintings'? The comic below provides a brief explanation of the process.

Comic about how to make light paintings

Need a little more guidance? Visit to learn more about troubleshooting and mastering this fascinating technique. Continue below to see more light paintings, and be sure check out Pearson's website,, to see his entire collection of work.

Light paintings: Attraction to light
Light paintings: Lowtide findings
Light paintings: Alien planet
Light paintings: Crossing paths at dusk
Light paintings: Line Pole Drive
Light paintings: Tentacle Garden
Light paintings: Hopping angel
Light paintings: Waiting on you
Light paintings: Unicorn
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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.