Gjon Mili

by Huseby

Born in Albania in 1904, Gjon Mili was a engineer and self-taught photographer.  He moved to the United States in 1923. Since 1939 he worked as a freelance photographer for the magazine Life. Mili pioneered photoflash photography in the mid 1930’s. He used stroboscopic light to capture the motion of everything from dancers to jugglers in a single exposure. Later on he experimented with light painting by attaching small lights to the boots of ice skaters. Most famous are his photographs of Pablo Picasso.

Gjon Mili’s techniques and photographs are unique and inspirational. They capture not only a scientific interest, but “reveals the beautiful intricacy and graceful flow of movement too rapid or too complex for the eye to discern”.

For my concept I wish to something similar – either the concept of drawing (Pablo Picasso) or attaching light to a person in movement (iceskating etc). In addition of being beautiful images, I find them interesting as Mili has lit up the background. Through this technique, he puts the light painting into a context, telling more of the story in the photograph. Especially for self-portraits, for example the light painting photos of Picasso, the lit context reveals more of Picasso identity.

Figure Skater Carol Lynne by Light Painting Photographer Gjon MiliFigure Skater Carol Lynne by Light Painting Photographer Gjon Mili

Picasso Draws a Centaur, Pablo Picasso by Light Painting Photographer Gjon MiliEverything is Illuminated, Pablo Picasso by Light Painting Photographer Gjon Mili

Reference: http://lightpaintingphotography.com/light-painting-history/

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