Rainbow Tracer: Photographing Rainbows at Night

Arduino Photography & Video
Rainbow Tracer: Photographing Rainbows at Night

Bring to Light took place last weekend as New York’s incarnation of Nuit Blanche, an international night time arts festival. The Bring to Light organizers invited artists to make site specific installations of light, sound, performance, and projection art in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn. Among the artists were Sean McIntyre and Reid Bingham, who created this long exposure, programmable rainbow maker they call Rainbow Tracer. With the help of photographer Shameel Arafin, they took portraits of visitors in front of a few different rainbow patterns generated by a rotating bar of addressable LEDs. According to Sean, “producing rainbows allows the technical aspects of our work to be shown in the context of innocence and pure fun.” I agree, and the resulting photos bring a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark, soggy night. For those of you who couldn’t make it, Sean and Reid have documented their build with photos and have shared the Arduino code that makes it work, so now you can create your own Rainbow Tracer.


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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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