My first attempt at a bit of bright-dancing, with a lot of post-processing, because the first (actually 12th) attempt was only interesting as a starting point. Going to try a heart next ...
For those who are interested, the process was as follows:
Set up the camera and put it in bulb mode, and then darken the room.
Obtain some portable light sources (I used LED penlights I got free in work)
Fire off a long exposure and then run in front of the camera, and wave the lights around in a hopefully artistic way, pointing into the camera lens all the time.
Check your result, and repeat.
I attached a polariser to my camera, and a 2x Neutral Density filter, to ensure the background was completely black. I also set the aperture to f22 for the same reason. For the kind of shot I wanted. focus wasn't important. The polariser also had the side-effect of attenuating the light when it wasn't at 90 degrees to the lens plane.
In terms of post-processing, I duplicated the image 4 times, rotating each by 90 degrees to create a kaleidascope effect. In order to blend the layers together, I set the mode of each layer to Difference, which blended them together in a particular way.
I then flattened those images together, and copied that layer on top of itself and added a Zoom effect to it.
Created: Apr 01, 2010cerebis Image Media