There’s a part of the brain that is compelled to figure out things we don’t instantly understand. One of the ways photography can trigger that compulsion is with long exposure images. We can mess with time to create a world we can’t see on our own. We can make flowing water look silky and smooth, clouds that streak across the sky and show the path of lights.
Light painting takes advantage of the long exposure to show a single point of light in many places at the same time. Frequently these paths are round. Light orbs and spinning steel wool photos are very popular and easy to create. Can we create other shapes as well?