ABSTRACT This paper explores the author’s Light Pattern project, a programming language where code is written with photographs rather than text. Light Pattern explores programming languages as the most direct conduit between human thinking and machine logic. It emphasizes the nuance, tone and personal style inherent in all code. It also creates an algorithmic photography structured by the programs one writes, but not ultimately computer-generated. The paper looks at connections to both hobbyist/hacker culture (specifically esolangs) and to art-historical impulses and movements such as Fluxus and Oulipo.