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Setting a world record with orbs

Setting a world record with orbs

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A 2014 project in Floyd County has now ended up in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Local resident Jeremy Jackson and 11 other light painters met in a field on July 19, 2014 and created 200 orbs. Last month, Guinness documented their record for the most complete light orbs – 200 – in a single long exposure photograph.

Most people are unfamiliar with light painting, Jackson comments. “They think it’s some kind of computer thing.” The East Coast Light Painting group, as they call themselves, used custom-designed light tools to create their photograph.

Although it only took 30 minutes to execute the photo with light, Jackson explains, the artists spent hours in preparation. “It took a lot of engineering.” And it had to be done in the dark.

“Our saving grace,” Jackson adds, “was glow in the dark tape.” The artists cut up little pieces of glow in the dark tape and set them in the grass to show them where they needed to be when doing the orbs.

The Internet was the tool used to pull the artists together. Jackson says that only one of the artists was a friend initially; “all of the others I got to know….” The artists connected on the Internet, through doing the artwork, sharing it on Facebook and Flickr, and working to expand the art form. They came to Floyd County from as far away as Washington State, Ohio, Florida and other places on the East Coast. “It’s been really exciting,” Jackson says. “I met a man from Ireland. He came to Floyd, just to collaborate.”

The idea for this project came from one of the artists, Jason Rinehart, who saw UK photographer Andrew Wells’ Century of Orbs and asked if others would be interesting in trying something similar to it. Wells’ project, in 2011, had the record for the most light orbs – 100 - in a single exposure, but Guinness did not grant him recognition.

For the project last year, Jackson helped to secure the land, property owned by Chris Thompson. He also built the light tools everyone used, since they were traveling, and then later the artists helped to “tweak” them.

“It was stressful,” Jackson says, and it couldn’t have been accomplished without everyone’s help.

The documentation for Guinness was also a big part of the project. As part of the requirements, the group also had to have a witness on site.

Jackson, who moved with his wife to Floyd County about 12 years ago, comments that he was not as excited about the Guinness recognition as he was about “doing it for all the light painters out there.” At the time, the project was done in 2014 he says he was celebrating and happy at the moment. Now having achieved the record, he is excited for the group again. “I’m proud of what we did. It was a team effort.”

After the record was announced, the East Coast Lighting Painting group - Jackson, Rinehart, Aaron Bauer, Chris Renfro, C.J. Yunger, Dennis Calvert, Jason D. Page, Johnny Andrews, Johnny Dickerson, Laura DelPrato, Mike Newcomer and Ryan O’Connell - decided to roll out a video on the project. It may be viewed at 200orbs.com.

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