App Misuse: Nunchuck Light Painting

My favorite shape.

I’m not sure if this counts as ‘app misuse’, but we did use a photography technique in an unexpected way. I had my housemate Katy, who is a Tae Kwon Do first don (the first level of black belt) and friend Rachel*, who is a fourth don (almost instructor level) do various forms with glowing nunchucks that we ordered online. Rachel was able to critique Katy’s form from the photos alone, so we essentially invented a weird and laborious critique system.

This was my first time trying long exposure photography, so the photos are not in focus — it was difficult enough to get the shutter speed and aperture right. Katy has ordered more glowing nunchucks in different colors, so the next time I do this I’ll try to get the focus right. We also didn’t have a perfectly dark background for the first few photos, so we went to the abandoned quarry (hence the stripy pattern in some of them.)

If I had more time this week, I would’ve wanted to trace the results in Adobe Illustrator to make graphic ‘logos’. Though the photo is noisy, I especially love the script-like form of the image above.

*Yes, she is a member of our isolation pod.

A simple figure-8.

Throwing the nunchuck and catching it.

Through the Fence: Long Exposure and Slit Cam

I used a Slow Camera, a long exposure app, to image the house behind our wooden fence. The slits in the fence allowed the light to make an imprint on the photo as I slowly moved to the slide in order to fill the panels.

Long Exposure:


This time I used a slit-scan app and tried to keep very still and position the slit scan in between two of the wooden panels. Unlike the long exposure instead of getting what was behind the fence I would only get a view of who was passing. (usually dog walkers)

Slit Cam:

App Misuse — Poloska

I’ve been interested in trying slit scanning on a computer screen because the standard scrolling interaction seems to give itself to the slit scanning technique. To test this I downloaded a few of my old profile pictures from Facebook and set up my phone in front of the screen with a slit scanning app running. I scanned the images as I scrolled down through the photos. Here’s what I got:


Light painting + Reflective Photograms

This past weekend in my normal scroll of the internet I happened upon a post by Philippe Dubost ( who has been posting shots using light painting with a pixel stick to write phrases in Montreal.

He has also posted a video tutorial on how to create the same effect using TouchDesigner.

So I set it up and my girlfriend and I spent some time playing around the apartment drawing with phones and flashlights. What became interesting was that since it was looking for the brightest spot, a reflection  on a wall would also trigger the feeback/line to continue.

We than started painting our faces with light, with led to using the flash of a camera to imprint a silhouetted reflection.

I realized that doing this was the inverse of what photograms were. Rather creating exposures by blocking light, this process was producing similar effects by reflecting light.

Room Quarantine Time Lapse

Hi guys!

Just wanted to share something I’ve been working on the past couple days!

I created a very David Hockney like time lapse of me in my dorm room on a day to day bases. With the help of a lot of duct-tape I filmed two-three hour time lapses of various spots in my room. I experimented with the frame rate on each video clip. Here is the end product!


Panoramic App Misuse

I don’t know if this is app misuse so much as just… unusual app use, but it captures images of things in a way unlike they actually are, so I’ll count it. I used my phone’s native panoramic camera to do a few experiments.

Un-bending Bendy Things

For these images I sought out real-world items that were curved and tried to move the camera as I photographed them so that they came out straight in the final image. It only really worked with things that were curved in a horizontal plane, because my app did not allow me to rotate my camera in any other direction. Here are some of my results:

The original bench
The bench, straightened
The original ramp
The ramp, straightened


The original headphones
The headphones, straightened
Drawing with Light

I brought a flashlight out to photograph a wall at night, and tried moving it in various ways as I took the panorama.

Moving the light upwards
Moving the light up and down
Moving the light up and down, but going backwards during each movement so the edges are more sharp

App Misuse – Tahirah Lily

I was really curious about exploring space, so after trying a few apps, I decided to use Weird Type.

I built my sister a castle to sit and have her meal in.

I also found abstracting words interesting.

The last capture my phone cooperated with was using letters as architecture. I had a few other structures I liked better, but sadly the app wasn’t saving them. I suspect my phone was out of space from all the app downloading.

App Misuse

I ended up using Monodepth2, a machine learning library made by Niantic Labs and UCL.

I created a Google Colab notebook to make it easier to use the software and converted some of the timelapse below

to this:

I also tried running the algorithm on a scene that doesn’t exist from SCI-Arc student Siyao Zheng’s thesis project.