Photographer Derek VanAlthuis took his light painting photography to fiery new heights last week when he captured this photo. In it, his model is flying away on wings created by light painting with actual fire. In fact, that fire is the only light used in the shot.
This image sits at the intersection of two of VanAlthuis’ passions: light painting photography, and the symbolism of the phoenix.
“The symbolism behind a Phoenix has always been inspirational for me. When the Phoenix perceives its death, it ignites itself into a magnificent fire. Then it re-emerges from its own ashes—reborn, ready to continue life once again,” he said in an interview with DIY Photography. “I wanted to see if I could portray this concept in my work.”
His initial attempts were created using light painting blades, but divorcing the idea of the Phoenix from fire just doesn’t seem right. So, inspired by fellow light painter Zach Alan‘s work with fire light painting and levitation, VanAlthuis grabbed a T-shirt, some lighter fluid, a wooden dowel, and safety equipment, and got to work.