Light painter Hannu Huhtamo uses darkness as a canvas for his long exposure photographs, capturing fluid light trails of flashlights and other kinds of glowing tools that he uses to draw in the air. In this video from Great Big Story, he explains, “The exposure times can vary from seconds to hours, and the idea is to use the light source as brushes or pencils.”

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His photos are inspired by his location on the planet. The winter months provide very few hours of daylight to Helsinki, Finland, and in the country’s northern regions, the Polar Night brings around-the-clock darkness for approximately 50 days starting in December. You can see the phenomenon in this synced time lapse video that compares Helsinki’s January light to its long hours of June light:

Like light painting? Try it: How to paint with ice skates, a light painting beginner’s guide.

Plus, watch a winter solstice time lapse in Fairbanks, Alaska and TED Ed’s Reasons for the Seasons to learn more about sunlight and our planet.

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