My name is Sergey Churkin aka Chukos, I was born in Siberia at 1961, and now I live in Moscow, Russia. My occupation is a broadcast designer where I’m working for national TV channels. My hobbies are travelling, music and light painting photography.

How did you get started in light painting?

It was in December 2009. My older son Michael showed me his experience in long exposure photography. It was “light graffiti”, as he told me. The following night I made my first long exposure photography (with this microphone).

Since that night, I have been a light painting junkie.

How important is light painting to you?  Is it a hobby, your primary job?

It is a hobby which allows me to express the creative part of my mind. I am designer, using software to create images, so using long exposure photography is more attractive and natural for my imagination. Light painting has played a big role in my life over the last few years.

What style of light painting are you known for?  What sort of shots do you tend to create?

I am not sure that I am known for any particular style. I know some great artists tend to focus on one particular style and such singular focus gives them possibility to become the best in a very specific way… but for me – I prefer to use lots of techniques (styles), keeping in mind that different creative targets requires different styles. I am not hostage of any particular style. And I love to work being inspired by particular conditions: location, ambient light, objects, friends, weather… Lots of things could inspire me.

You’ve done a lot for the light painting community – you’ve created the LPWA and arranged international meetings, collaborations and exhibitions. How did you come up with the idea of the LPWA and what was the aim behind it?

The purpose of LPWA was making connections between light painters easier and bringing creative collaborations to life. I also wanted to help improve the quality of light painting worldwide and slowly try to transform Light Painting into its own separate art form on the world stage.

What is your favorite light painting tool and why?

My favorite light painting tool are ones which I made myself for particular creative goals. Standard tools are good for everyday tasks (or for newbie). I do not want to say standard tools are not good for me – I mean I prefer hand made tools, at least – customized. Hand made tools give to me exactly what I want. 

For example, I made special tools for multioutlining technique. 

No standard tool could satisfy me for this method.

Watch it here

I made special tool for “Real Life of Unreal Person” project.

I’m sure I was not the only one who uses similar technique, but my tool was perfectly tuned for what I was trying to accomplish

I made special tool for my Light Balloon project.

There are no similar tools I know of. It was made exactly for this project.

If you could only keep one photograph, which would it be and why?

May I specify two images – one for personal work and one for massive collaborative image?

This one, Light River, means a lot to me. It was fantastic night, cool team and mind blowing result. I really like the smooth light trails that look almost like water. And this is an image with great feeling of being an empty canyon, filled with “water”.

My favorite personal light art is Centrum Universi. Totally freehand, in one single shot. To be honest, I did 7attempts for getting such smooth lines.

Cenrum Universi was made during our wonderful trip to Rome – that is why I put such romantic feelings into that image. The woman is the Center of Universe 🙂

Can you tell us any funny stories which have happened whilst you have been light painting?

It was in Croatia. As usual, me and my wife Natasha had started to work right after sunset. There was boulevard along the sea beach, with lots of tourists. I was in the sea with LED strip, Natasha was on the beach, controlling the camera. People crowded on the border of boulevard, looking at me, as I flapped by light source around in the night sea. After 10 minutes of speechless watching, someone asked: “Hey you, are you trying to catch crabs?!”

Have you got any forthcoming projects you are working on?

Currently for the moment – no. All my new projects are in the future 🙂

What advice would you give to new light painters?

Do more experiments. Do not try to copy others. Find your own vision.

Thank you for asking, Iris.
Thank you for looking at, readers.

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