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MONDO ARC

LAPP Pro

Issue 52 Dec / Jan 2009/10


Working under the name LAPP Pro, creative duo JanLeonardo Wöllert and Joerg Miedza are trailblazers for a new photographic movement that uses long exposure techniques to capture carefully choreographed movement of lights across a set space.

Part photographic technicians, part performance artists, the pair spend hours creating elaborate images in situ, without the use of post production or computer manipulation.

The LAPP Pro project was originally conceived in a warehouse on a summer’s night in 2007. Wöllert had been photographing an old industrial complex in his hometown of Bremen, Germany, when he found himself locked in by the security guard. With no way out until morning, and nothing to keep himself amused but the camera equipment he was carrying, Wöllert decided to use his time productively by trying out some night photography. After accidentally moving a light across the frame during one of these long exposure shots, he found he was able to create a host of unusual effects – totally transforming the character of the old factory space in which he was trapped.

Wöllert spent the rest of that night experimenting with different timings and light sources, and by the time he was released in the morning, his head was abuzz with possibilities.

A few days later he discussed the project with his friend Joerg Miedza and soon the pair were out on the streets of Bremen, scouting out suitable locations for what they would later dub Light Art Performance Photography (LAPP).

The technique is similar to Light Graffiti in that both reappropriate a space, changing it with light in a way that can only be seen when captured with long exposure photography. For LAPP, however, the choice of location is vitally important as it too can be illuminated during the process and forms an integral part of the final piece.

Once a location has been found, the LAPP Pro pair can spend days planning each shoot out in detail. The ambient light levels on site help decide the length of the exposure (which can be anything from five minutes to a few hours) and within that precise timings for each lighting element is decided upon. The speed at which the light sources are moved across the frame will have an affect upon the colour and intensity of each frame, so consistency is vitally important. It’s a complex business and creating the perfect shot can involve as much physical as it does mental agility.

On site a tripod and Canon EOS 5D MkII with 14 mm lens are set up and the plan is put in to action, using a range of light sources from fireworks to LEDs. Asked for further details the team remains tight-lipped.

“We won’t give away our tricks,” says Wöllert. “Some fans ask for a ‘How-to-do-LAPP Instruction Manual’, but we don’t supply anything like that. We like to be the spark that starts the fire.”

www.lapp-pro.de

 

LAPP Pro (c) LAPP Pro
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