Photographer attaches lights to kayak paddles, creates beautiful art

The world of action sports has no shortage of people trying to find unique ways to convey artistic and photographic expression.

We’ve seen artists like the Hawaii-born HULA use standup paddleboards to create beautiful, waterside murals and photographers like Clark Little capture amazing surf photos by placing himself directly inside some of the world’s heaviest shore breaks.

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To that end, an Ontario-based photographer named Stephen Orlando has compiled a stunning portfolio of long exposure photography by attaching LED lights to the paddles of canoeists, kayakers and SUPers.

The results are an ethereal, dreamlike series of paddle photos:

Sneak peak at photo shoot with @avankoeverden, photos coming soon! #kayak #photography #canada #paddling #kayaking

A photo posted by Stephen Orlando (@motionexposure) on

Really excited to show everyone my collaboration with four time Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden. Half of the proceeds from the sale of these prints will go to Project Canoe,, a Toronto based charity that helps youth develop life skills through wilderness canoe trips. See the link in my profile to buy prints and support a great charity. I attached colour changing LED lights to Adam's paddle and used a long exposure photograph to reveal the path of his paddle stroke. This photo is a single exposure and has not been manipulated in Photoshop. Since Adam is a dark object that's moving, he's not in the same spot long enough to show up in the photo until I illuminate him with a flash. #kayak #kayaking #lightpainting #longexposure #photography #torontoart #toronto #6ix #the6ix #paddle #paddling #ontario #olympics #canada

A photo posted by Stephen Orlando (@motionexposure) on

“I love using long exposure photography to show things that are otherwise unseen,” Orlando told GPI Design in May about his creative process. “I like the combination of technology and art that can be used in light painting photography.”

“My background is in aerodynamics and I see a lot of similarities between my photography and the streamlines I use to analyze fluid flow,” Orlando continued. “I see my photography as half art and half visualization of data.”

To see more of Orlando’s work, head over to his website, Motion Exposure.