Amusing Monday: flying flecks of colored light

Brian Maffitt, an experimental videographer from Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., had a brilliant idea when he aimed a video projector out his window into a swirling snowstorm. The result, documented in both still photos and video, resembles abstract art.

“I’ve toyed with the idea of shooting swirling snow for a while, but this was the first big snowstorm we’ve had when I was prepared to experiment,” Maffitt told Lewis Wallace of Wired magazine.

His video can be viewed in the top window on this page; his series of photos can be seen in a Flickr slideshow in the bottom window. Be sure to view both of these full-screen.

Personally, I’m intrigued by the variety of images produced by this blending of nature and technology, knowing that the images are an artifact of the mechanical and electronic function of the video projector. By the way, the video he chose to project was “The Lorax,” a colorful animated film based on a Dr. Seuss book.

The stock music for the video was taken from the video-editing software Final Cut Pro, and I think the piano tune is a nice accompaniment to the video. However, I wish Brian would recognize the poor sound quality on the YouTube video and re-do the soundtrack.

As for the slideshow, he told Chris Lambeth for his blog on F Stoppers:

“I used a somewhat slow shutter speed to capture a little relative motion, but seldom more than a second or so. When the snow was drifting slowly, the results were colorful and etherial. When the snow moved more rapidly however, the spinning color wheel of the projector produced a strobing effect that generated separate red, green, and blue dots where the snowflakes fell… The end results are a wonderful mix of analog photo techniques, augmented by digital projection.”

Maffitt, 50, is a founder and chief creative officer for Total Training, which provides online classes in web design, digital video and related technology.

2 thoughts on “Amusing Monday: flying flecks of colored light

  1. I’ve been trying something like that (but with still photograpy) off-and-on for a couple of years now… but we don’t get enough snow here to get much chance to practice.

  2. Derek, let me know if you ever get something you’d like to share. I’m always looking for interesting, amusing, inspiring or even silly pictures, videos, stories, poetry, music and good jokes. Anyone should feel free to contribute to this blog from whatever the source. My email is

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