Christopher Kennedy

Christopher Kennedy was born in the United Kingdom and lives and works in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He is the latest in a long line of artistic talents to emerge from his family. After many years of working in Hollywood as a successful music editor on feature films, Kennedy chose to pursue his photographic passion. His latest creations are painstakingly composed using, in his words, “fixed light sources as the paint, and the camera as both brush and canvas.”

Brilliantly coloured lights have fascinated Kennedy since boyhood. As he grew he became intrigued by how his camera had the ability to capture images of light that remain unseen by the naked eye. Inspired by the experimental light painting works of Man Ray and Picasso, the adult Kennedy embarked on a journey exploring the possibilities of artworks capturing this elusive quality of light.

Both Man Ray and Picasso ‘painted’ in the air with a light ‘pencil’ as a camera captured their actions. The pictures they drew were gone before the human eye could perceive them, but the old camera faithfully recorded their ghostly movements on a single frame of film.

Contrarily, Kennedy’s own technique, Photo Luminism, begins with the meticulous staging of stationary lights and culminates with the preconceived manipulation of the camera during a single long exposure. In those brief moments, the digital device captures a canvas overflowing with rich and seemingly impossible imagery: a light unseen captured in the blink of an eye.

Kennedy says this of his work, “The challenge for me in creating this series was to result in something different; something fresh and alluring; to show how beautiful light unseen can be; to present a purist photographic image that transcends the traditional interpretation of abstract photography, captures the imagination, and stimulates thought and conversation.”

Kennedy prints his images onto two opposing surfaces for entirely different effects: brushed aluminium for its inherent ability to enhance their depth and luminosity through the diffuse reflection of ambient light; and fine art paper for incredibly warm, saturated colours and deep velvet blacks.

Photo Luminism images are created entirely in-camera, in a single exposure. A live dodging technique is occasionally utilized during photography, but only minor exposure adjustments are made in post. A digital signature is all that is added using Photoshop.

The innovative Photo Luminism® technique was created by Christopher Kennedy in 2011 in order to create purist images of lightscapes that defy explanation.


Photo Luminism

Light is the essence of everything we see. It sculpts our interpretation of all we view. But not all light is equal. My Photo Luminism series introduces an elusive side of light that the human eye cannot perceive on its own - a dimension where light is the source but where it also becomes the form.

Photo Luminism is the technique I've devised for manufacturing these complex abstractions. It involves manipulation of camera, settings and lens, whilst the sensor is exposed to meticulously crafted static ‘lightscapes' with the intention of recreating as closely as possible a preconceived vision. The resulting photographs, which are literally plucked from the ether, demonstrate the illusion of solid form, movement, depth, highlight and shadow, all derived from a simple two dimensional source.

I have chosen to print on three mediums: brushed aluminum for its ability to make the images luminesce and add depth while showing incredible color saturation and exhibiting unparalleled longevity and durability; fine art paper for its ability to create deep velvet blacks and warm crisp colors; glass for accentuating every aspect of the images I create by allowing light to travel through those areas I choose to keep transparent.

"Folded Floral" is unique as it is mixed media. I have added two layers of resin and a transparency, all over an original dye sub print on brushed aluminum for yet another totally different look and effect.

Passage “Passage”

Passage was created entirely in-camera from a single line of stationary lights I found arranged in such a way that I was able to manipulate the camera to create this wonderful 3-dimensional image in a single exposure. No Photoshop was used. It is available unframed on fine art paper or brushed aluminium (edge to edge frame included) in several limited edition sizes.

Sea Cuc “Sea Cuc”

Sea Cuc was created entirely in-camera from a single set of stationary lights in a single exposure against a special background in my studio. It is from the Bioluminescence series and attempts to imitate various sea dwellers. No Photoshop was used. It is available in several limited edition sizes unframed on fine art paper or brushed aluminium (edge to edge frame included).

Playful “Playful”

Playful was created in a single exposure entirely in-camera from three simple lines of lights I found in LA. It is from the very popular Shades series, many of which contain multiple lines of lights. No Photoshop was used. It is available in several limited edition sizes unframed on fine art paper or on brushed aluminium (edge to edge frame included).

Veil Over Manhattan “Veil Over Manhattan”

This image was created in a single exposure entirely in-camera with some live dodging techniques utilizing a set of neon lights along with the Manhattan skyline. The entire image was captured from the top of a building in Brooklyn, NY. It is to date the most complex shot I have produced for this portfolio, requiring literally hundreds of exposures over several nights to get just a few that I was happy with.

Folded Floral “Folded Floral”

This is a mixed media print. The original abstract piece was created using my Photo Luminism technique and printed onto brushed aluminum using dye sublimation. A thick layer of resin was then added. Before it was completely dry, I overlaid the double printed transparency of the rhododendron flower and tree leaves. Once completely dry, a final layer of resin was then applied. The layer between the two images adds an incredible sense of depth.

Encounters 2 “Encounters 2”

This is from my Photo Luminism Geometrical series. I built a static light set up against a special background and then photographed it in the dark, in a single long exposure. There was no post production. My intention was to give an uneasy feeling - perhaps of witnessing an appearing UFO. Other images in the series accentuate this. Despite the sense of vastness we feel looking at the picture, it was created from a set up that was only 12" wide!

Courting “Courting”

This is one of many images created as a part of my Photo Luminism Bioluminescent series. The only tongue in cheek image in the series, it shows two imaginary deep sea creatures courting in much the same way that land bound peacocks do, with their very colorful tails. It was created entirely in-camera, in a single long exposure utilizing my special technique. No post production.