Photographers like Stephen Orlando in Ontario always find a way to bring fresh ideas to the popular photographic sub-genre of light painting. His photos capture the hypnotically repetitive motions of kayakers, canoers and swimmers as they paddle through the water, turning their movement into beautiful woven braids of light.

Orlando’s photos use programmable strips of LED lights that can blink or change colors over time, which is how he was able to ensure that each paddle stroke was captured. In an exposure of 20 or 30 seconds, the kayak becomes invisible, but the trail of light left behind as they paddle gets picked up and turned into an elegant lightshow.


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

“The shape of the light trails turned out to be what I was expecting. I did a lot of planning for these photos and I plotted out the expected path beforehand. The unexpected result was how visually appealing they are”

“The lights trails in these photos were not created in Photoshop, nor are they composite images. They were made with careful timing, proper lighting and patient friends”

“I did have to waterproof the lights, especially for the whitewater kayaking photos”