Light paintings—images that look like regular photographs decorated with squiggles or shapes of bright light—are a very cool effect. Now, with this video from At-Bristol Science Centre, you can make your own.

As The Kid Should See This points out, light painting has been around for a very long time. Its roots were surprisingly practical and had nothing to do with art. Created by two physiologists in 1889, the first light painting was intended to chart the trajectory of a man in motion. Twenty-five years later, a team of industrial filmmakers used light to study the movements of factory workers, looking for ways to increase their efficiency.

Another two decades would go by before light painting found its way into the art world. Photographer Man Ray scribbled in light all over his self-portrait in 1935. By 1949, Picasso was drawing playful pictures in the air.

Today, light paintings created with sparklers and glowsticks are a favorite tool of wedding photographers and Instagram addicts, and for good reason—they're really fun. Check out the video, grab your camera, and jump aboard the sparkle train.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

Header image courtesy of At-Bristol Science Centre.