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Assignment #80: Time
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Jul 12, 2008, 07:53 #1
matthew Shuttertalker *****
Status: Offline Posts:3,036 Threads:253 Joined:Jun 2005 Reputation: 3
The future has already arrived. It's just not evenly distributed yet.
- William Gibson

Time is an inherent element of any photograph.

Photography has always had a unique relationship with time. Very early photographs show empty city streets because the exposure took far to long to capture the bustling pedestrians. When photography took over portraiture from painters none of the subjects were smiling: it's simply wasn't possible to hold a smile for long enough to create the image. Advances in the technology brought faster and faster shutter speeds, and the ability to stop motion revolutionized our understanding of biomechanics. Today we have cameras that can record 1/8000s - 0.000125 seconds - and strobe lights that can 'stop' a bullet in flight. And we've improved on our ability to slow down, too: hour-long exposures are still possible, and motion studies are easier than ever.

Time is always one of the variables in choosing an exposure, but it's usually an afterthought that simply enables our desired aperture value. For this assignment, reclaim and express the element of time. I've already mentioned several ways it can be done, but there are many others: be creative and see what you can find.

One final thought: there's another art form that has an even more powerful relationship to time than photography does. I've been writing assignments for many years, and in all that time, nobody has ever responded with a video. Compact cameras can take movies, and all cameras (including DSLRs) can produce stop-motion animation...


Jul 19, 2008, 16:34 #2
matthew Shuttertalker *****
Status: Offline Posts:3,036 Threads:253 Joined:Jun 2005 Reputation: 3
I've tried shooting some new long-exposure photos, and didn't like them, and my attempts at doing time-lapse and motion studies were also disappointing. So here's anold photo, which is the longest exposure I've ever shot - 455 seconds - and a new one with time as a subject instead of a technique.

[Image: 334584529_UGPXb-L.jpg]


[Image: 334584574_oqnVP-L.jpg]

Jul 20, 2008, 02:05 #3
Keith Alan Moderator *****
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Here's something from last year that I feel fits this Assignment.
Tripod, ND filters, time...
[Image: msj.longexp.jpg]

I always make it a point to look for scenes like this that will benefit from using the long-shutter approach.
They just seem to live and breathe a bit more, and are better able to represent the inescapeable reality of time compared to fast shutter photos.

Why would I want to freeze the wheel and water?
They looked almost exactly like this to my eye at the time, so why not try to capture
that?

Jul 20, 2008, 02:16 #4
Pavel Posting Freak *****
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I love the photo, Keith. Pavel






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