Finnish Artist Uses Long Exposure Photography to Paint Gorgeously Ethereal Illustrations With Light

Never alone

Hannu Huhtamo is a Finnish artist who uses long-exposure photography to paint with light, resulting in gorgeously ethereal illustrations that seem to magically appear against the darkness. In conversation with Great Big Story, Huhtamo explained, “Darkness is the canvas and the light is my brush.”

We have long summer nights that are warm and full of light, but on the opposite, there is also this dark part. It’s called polar night. It starts in December, and it lasts for about 50 days. The sun doesn’t rise above the horizon at all. And, for a light painter, that is quite good. I do long exposure photography, which is a photographic technique that allows me to draw with light.The exposure times can vary from seconds to hours, and the idea is to use the light sources as brushes or pencils and the dark surroundings are the canvas.

Ethereal Illustrations

Mystery of the room 11

The last inhabitant

The levitating blue


Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.