Wind Tunnel Light Painting

We bring the Light Painting all the way to the end of the Tunnel

updated: 2021-March-06

Lift off in the air and fly for some Wind Tunnel Light Painting.

Hurrican Factory Berlin Wind Tunnel
Hurricane Factory Berlin
Anna Galperin Flight Instructor

Many thanks go out to the team of Hurricane Factory for letting me try my first ever Wind Tunnel Light Painting. Thank you Anna for organizing it.

HURRICANE FACTORY Berlin is the biggest wind tunnel in Germany. If you are on the brave end you can fly in Hurricane Factory with a wind speed of up to 270 km/h. You can book your flight time on their website super easy.

Anna Galperin is a skydiver since 2006 and jumped out of a plane over 3000 times. Her expertise lays in disciplines like Free Flying, Angle Flying, Dynamic Flying. Tunnel flying just comes naturally for her.

Her interest beyond just flying brought us together. Thank you for your interdisciplinary interests.

Light Painting Wind Tunnel

Over the years I got to light paint in very exotic places all around the world. The constant lookout for something new brought me together with Anna Galperin. She was about to gather artists for an Artist Night at the Hurrican Factory in Berlin. We decided together to test Light Painting in the Wind Tunnel.

Trust me it did not take much effort to convince me!

From the very first moment, I was super excited and my mind was getting crazy trying to figure out what kind of light painting would be possible when flying around. In the beginning, one thing was sure; I was not going to be the one flying the lights myself. But I am 100% sure I will do that not too far from now!

Wind Tunnel Light Painting Anna Galperin

During our first night in the Wind Tunnel, Anna was the only one flying and we did not yet get the super-satisfying results we were hoping for. We learned that we probably have a long steep learning curve ahead of us. That did not change! We still think there is a lot to improve or to win when ‘diving’ into that topic. We are excited and super motivated to go that path. I wanna fly!

Light Painting Wind tunnel Anna Galperin

At first, we wanted to know what kind of light tools would we be able to take on a flight. The first thing at hand is of course a Tube. Tube Light Painting (go here to see more Tube Light Paintings) is usually one of the easiest techniques to get fast results that look nice. Anna was flying several different shapes holding a 1.8m long Light Painting Tube with a red and yellow torch attached to it. We hoped to complement the colors of the Hurricane Factory. Here is an example if simply flying some curves filling the space of this huge wind tunnel.

Second Wind Tunnel Light Painting

For our second night in the Wind Tunnel, we already advanced be inviting Kat Pudenz and Natalia Cerqueira and a guitarist to round up our small little artist gathering. We had drinks and snacks to get into the mood. Most important now; we have to super experienced skydivers Anna and Kat. With our learnings from our Juli/2020 test flights, we went again playing more with shapes and techniques.

Hurricane Factory Berlin

Testing the light conditions once all the lights are out. Kati running outside the tunnel.

Get comfortable in the air.

At first both got comfortable flying together and being lt up by me. Both of then needed to get used to the fact that I will point strong flashlights at them during them spinning in the dark tunnel.

After a few tests, we figured out that we would have some 7-15 seconds exposure time at F20, ISO 50 for decent results.

Wind Tunnel Light Painting

I love the image (8 seconds) were both still trying to figure the space. The white suit that Anna was wearing was giving us this wonderful pattern and texture when lit up.

Kat studied dance, getting into aerial silks and surfing, and great for me has also some interest in art.
No matter if you’re a first-timer or Sportflyer, Kat will make you fly at the Hurrican Factory Berlin.

Wind Tunnel Light Painting

Before we begin we need to strengthen our mind and body. Anna and Kat came and set the stage with “room service”. Do you see these happy faces? After that, we can work properly and go for the briefing. We tried to see if we can understand each other’s languages indoor skydiving-flight terminologies and what could possibly work in a photograph.

Light Painting Reparation
Kat Pudenz Briefing
Ohad Leev Roage

The soundtrack of the night was provided by the Israeli Artist Ohad Leev Roage.
With respect for his skill, creativity, and the feel for the mood, he made that night not only look good on photos but made it also sound great. Once the Making Of video is out you can get a feel for that special moment we created. The beginning of a hopefully awesome tradition.

Thanx Anna

Setting the mood with the right sound track

Ohad play guitar

Light Painting the Hurricane of Light

Not to be all clueless and having no aim we set one goal. We wanted to create a tornado or better here a Hurrican of Light. Anna and Kat were supposed to fly close together on the bottom and then spread out to the sides as they fly higher and higher.

Hurricane of Light Painting
Light Painting Hurrican Wind Tunnel

After the first 10 flights and a break, we started to get creative with more shapes and different lights.

Wind Tunnel Light Shapes
Light Painting in the Wind Tunnel Hurricane Berlin

Using Tubes for the Wind Tunnel Light Painting

towards the end we started using more and more light tools. As I mentioned before Light tubes are easy to fly and light paint with. So that’s what we did right here. Here you see two of the examples of the night.

Tube Light Painting Wind Tunnel
Tube Light Painting in the Wind Tunnel

Don’t think it’s easy to light paint in free space! Well, I think its a super new thing for a skydiver to light paint and vice versa. So we need to cross improve our skills. I would strongly hope that I can learn to fly so I can light paint in the tunnel.

Wind Tunnel Light Painting

Thank you for your attention. Super glad you made it all the way down here. Want to leave a comment or a question. Don’t hesitate.

Light Painting Portrait of Luise
Set Up Foto at the Hurricane Factory

Female Flying Adventure – April 2022

Then there is our third time visit. This time Anna invited me to portray also some female flyers during one of her dedicated events. The idea was to level up in freestyle or creative flying. The ladies loved the idea and after flying we kept taking more photos and so also Light Paintings.

The main subject here is a lady of many trades and interests. Lu is a very humble and introverted yet reflected talented Flyer. She started only in November last year, yet starts flying more creative than technical but that’s her story to tell.

Proud flyer
Light Painting Portrait of Luise with her Helmet and a Hurricane in her hand

Taming the Hurricane

Beginners Guide to Light Painting

Meteor Jam 2022

Flashlights for Light Painting

Wind Tunnel Light Painting


Leave a Comment

  • Atom Seven
    2020-09-27 at 20:15

    Super nice work, light is what we need more than ever…

    • Gunnar Heilmann
      2020-09-28 at 7:38

      Hey Atom,
      nice to find you here on my website again, thank you for taking the moment to leave a quick notice. I hope we can soon also collaborate. See you at Monopol or any other occasion.
      light up

  • Tilo Maier
    2020-10-02 at 19:35

    Cool, Kunst, Geschicklichkeit, Sport und Grazie in einem

    • Gunnar Heilmann
      2020-10-03 at 10:05

      Freut mich wenns gefällt und Interesse weckt. Die Damen bewegen sind tatsächlich sehr elegant in der Luft. Ich hoffe ich kann das auch noch besser beim nächsten mal einfangen.