Floating Light Bulb - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - October 20, 2008
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - October 20, 2008

On October 22nd, Thomas Edison successfully tested the first light bulb. It contained a carbon filament and burned for 40 hours.

Is the lightbulb actually floating? In the movie industry this is called a “practical” effect. It is done physically without computers in post-production (post). I had thought about this shot for years, and then finally executed it in 2008.

The trick involves two effects, floating the bulb and lighting the bulb. I accomplished it by the use of stiff copper wire and a dimmer. The wire was soldered to the rear and bottom of the bulb’s base, out of view of the camera. The dimmer was used to glow the bulb the proper amount for the photograph. I did use a flash to balance the lighting on the subject.

Comments or questions?