Light Painting of a Jellyfish

What does a bioluminescent creature that lives more than 2 miles below the surface of the ocean and a glow stick have in common? More than you think. Bioluminescence is the process by which living organisms produce their own light. Using a photographic technique called light painting, you can do a fun activity to engage students to learn about bioluminescence with art.  

Here, a visitor to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History "draws" a bioluminescent jellyfish. Watch a Light Painting Tutorial to learn how you can create a light painting of your own, and read an Ocean Portal blog about how to use this technique for a fun lesson on bioluminescence. To see more light painting images from Smithsonian visitors, and to upload your own, visit the Ocean Portal's Flickr group.

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Submitted by The Ocean Portal Team on


Yes! This piece was "painted" by a Smithsonian visitor during Second Saturday Arts & the Ocean Program. The program was held to introduce visitors to bioluminescence through art, using a technique called "light painting." Learn about the program and the technique on our Education Blog.

The Ocean Portal Team

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Did you paint tthat ??!! And WOW !!!!!! Man, Art these days !!!