Light tornado photography | Medavia

Light tornado photography

Light photography

Tornadoes have hit Britain – but the twist is that they are made entirely of LIGHT.

Experimental photographer Martin Kimbell, 26, uses a hula-hoop equipped with LED lights to create these surreal pictures set against the British countryside.

Mr Kimbell, of Nottingham, creates the unique images by throwing the hoops in the air and leaving the shutter of his camera open for long enough to capture the swirling patterns.

Many of his finished images reveal blazing tornadoes of light against the darkening sky.

Mr Kimbell said: “I tell locals that if they see strange lights and flying hoops, then it is just me taking pictures.

“I worry about what people might think when they see what looks like UFOs above the moors – I’m sure I have freaked out some passers-by.”

Mr Kimbell takes most of his pictures in the Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire countryside.

He creates the mesmerising geometric patterns by attaching battery-powered lights to hula hoops and tossing them high into the air.

He said: “The hoop is just a basic child’s hula-hoop from a pound shop. Now I have a variety of hoops in different sizes and weights which I can use to control the final shape.”

The keen photographer, who shoots all his pictures on a Bronica SQ medium-format film camera, started experimenting with the technique aged 17.

He said: “For the first hoop I made I used my parents’ Christmas lights. I could only throw it as far as the extension cord would allow.

“I have got a lot better over the years. When I first started I would just chuck the hoop and hope for the best – now I am a lot more precise.”


More high resolution pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or


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