Light painting, that thing photographers do where they use long exposure photography to capture light movement, makes for some seriously gorgeous photographs. As you get more advanced, though, you begin to realize the limitations inherent in the medium, requiring you to come up with difficult out-of-the-box solutions to effectively get the results you dream about. Pixelstick is a light painting system that expands the limits of what’s possible without requiring you to pull hairs out thinking up outlandish techniques.
Made by Bitbanger Labs, it’s a literal stick armed with 198 RGB LED lights along its length, with each LED showing one pixel in a column at a time. The idea is you set the DSLR on long exposure, move the stick so the image stays consistent one vertical line at a time, and you’re done, with a downright fancy light painting you can show off to your friends whose minds are boggled by your creativity in capturing what appears to be impossible imagery. No hard work and you look like a genius — it’s perfect.
The Pixelstick is a lightweight aluminum stick consisting of two 3-inch rods (so it can fit inside your camera bag) connected by a central bracket. You grip it via a perpendicular handle in the bracket, allowing you to swing it and move it around very easily, with a rotating sleeve that can be unlocked to have the stick spinning freely. A small box on the unit allows you load an SD card with an image (maximum height is 198 pixels), which the stick will then display one column at a time. It’s powered by 8 AA batteries.