Long Exposure Part 1 – Tae Kwon Do

In college I studied photography. Loading film, shooting, developing the film and using a darkroom to create your own prints is a lost art. While I lament the “good ol’ days” wherein you could quietly poison yourself with chemicals, the ability to shoot hundreds of photos without consequence is better in a lot of ways. I digress.

I started to experiment in the fall with long exposure photography. using small plastic balls with a single LED and a watch battery. Worked well for what I was trying to accomplish but I knew I’d want to do more.

This is when I hit upon the idea of capturing a movement by an expert in whatever field I was shooting. I began reaching  out to friends that I knew were good at something. My first thoughts were martial arts and dance. I thought I would make an interesting to capture a full movement by someone who knew what they were doing. All my previous captures were of me waving my hands around.

A photo posted by Hugh Elliott (@hughqelliott) on


Not that what I captured waving my hands around looked bad but I felt constrained. I wanted to be behind the lens, not in front of it. I needed a way to have the LEDs attach to the person I was photographing without hindering their movement. If you know me, I love a challenge and trouble-shooting. I hit upon the solution of using tensor bandages.


A photo posted by Hugh Elliott (@hughqelliott) on

I soldered the LEDS together and sewed them onto the bandages. Notice the quality needle-work.

A photo posted by Hugh Elliott (@hughqelliott) on

So there I was, LED-heavy and a shoot booked! My first shoot was with my friend Craig Harwood. Craig arranged the space and time and I provided the vehicle. We headed over to KujuuJutsu Institute in Thornhill. This was an amazing experience. Craig was really patient with the fact that I wasn’t really sure how it would work and I knew very little about long exposure photography. He was willing to let me direct him and I am stoked about the results.

Here is a short video I took while shooting.

A photo posted by Hugh Elliott (@hughqelliott) on

A photo posted by Hugh Elliott (@hughqelliott) on


The first print in this series is available for purchase from my BigCartel shop!

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