A Truly Sparkling Work

 Birthdays always meant cake and sparklers. Whilst cake was very appealing, my favourite part involved the latter. I would beg for an extra sparkler and go stand outside in the dark and paint my name with the sparkler in the air as many times as I could before it burnt out. I knew this was a ‘cool’ idea and was thankfully reminded of this by Ryan Enn Hughes. This talented artist captured my eye with his latest project named Sparkler$. This project takes my childhood memory and produces a unique and creative idea. It involves four subjects jumping up and down whilst painting with sparklers. Capturing these photographs using a DSLR camera set to an eight-second exposure, the images are then sequenced to create animated GIFs. Photographed in complete darkness with the only light source being the sparkler, the Sparkler$ project is vibrant and captivating and illustrates that this artist has given a future to moving pictures. Ryan who is a Photographer and Motion Picture Director based in Toronto stated ‘I want to do more than just make a still image’. 

 Whilst I may try to take claim of the idea of his latest project, I could not compete with his talent. Ryan has worked for many clients including Colenso BBDO, Canada’s National Ballet School, The New York Times, and Facebook. Hardly an amateur at creating motion pictures, he has a number of clips that blur motion picture and still photography. One of these former projects, The 360 Project depicts a single moment captured simultaneously in 360 degrees by 48 cameras aligned in a circle. The Krump 360 and Ballet 360 projects are clips of dancers performing different moves within their dancing style. Again photographed in darkness, the bright coloured clothing of the subject creates contrast and mesmerises the viewer with the precision and pop of their moves. Beyond making me wish I had some dancing ability, these clips are fresh, funky and engaging. 

Ryan’s work isn’t short of recognition; he has been published in the Atlantic, The British Journal of Photography, The Guardian, Wired, The Huffington Post, NPR, PDN Magazine, Creative Review, Resource Magazine, and Applied Arts Magazine. His art work is plentiful and will satisfy anyone’s palate; you can enjoy all of his work including motion, gifs and photos at http://www.ryanennhughes.com. Even more interesting and worth a visit is his blog http://ryanennhughes.com/blog

Jessica Graham

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