Meet the Makers: Motion Exposure Photographer Stephen Orlando

In this Meet the Makers blog series, we will feature an artist that, quite simply, makes something. Drawing inspiration from custom works handcrafted in various media, we travel beyond the pieces by diving into the minds of the creative makers themselves.

Today, we feature our interview with Stephen Orlando, a photographer who captures motion through time and space in a single photograph. Orlando combines LED lighting with custom color patterns and long exposure technique to tell a story of movement. He captures these landscapes near his home town in Waterloo, Ontario Canada.


GPI Design: What (3) words best describe your work?

Stephen Orlando: Motion – Light – Information

GPI: What compels you to create with this particular medium?

Orlando: I love using long exposure photography to show things that are otherwise unseen. 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. I see my photography as half art and half visualization of data. Whenever I setup a shoot, I not only try to make the result aesthetically pleasing but also to show how objects move and tell the story of movement.


GPI: What is your biggest constraint in the creative process?

Orlando: The biggest constraint in my photography is light! I’ve done a lot of long exposure photos of LED lights attached to moving canoe and kayak paddles. They are all single exposures and need to be taken at a very specific time of day for proper exposure. I’m constantly balancing the intensity of the LED lights and the ambient lighting conditions. Most of the time the window where ambient lighting conditions are perfect is only 20 minutes. There’s a lot of preparation for that 20 minutes of shooting.


GPI: What would your 5 year old former self say about your work now? And what do you hope your future 90 year old self will say about your current work?

Orlando: My 5 year self would like the cool colors in my photos and be excited about all the cool canoe trips that I’ll be going on in the future. I hope my 90 year old self will be proud that I’ve developed a unique body of work that will be remembered for years to come.


GPI: What other maker would you most like to collaborate with?

Orlando: I really admire the photography of Darren Pearson, and Eric Pare. We all use light painting in very different ways and I would love to work with either of them in the future.

GPI: What do you think the future of creation/creativity holds (for you, and the artistic world as a whole)?

Orlando: I’m planning on doing more photography where I delve even deeper into the technical side of the LED lights. I want to start photographing lights that are changing dynamically based on inputs from their surroundings. I can see other artists incorporating connectivity into their art more and more.


GPI: What does your work space look like right now? Send us a selfie of you in your creative arena!



Many thanks to Stephen Orlando for the insight into his craft. Stay tuned to our next Meet the Makers interview coming up in two weeks! The interviews will publish every other Tuesday throughout the remainder of the year, focusing on a wide variety of makers, which has us truly redefining what it means to create.

 View this maker’s work: Motion Exposure