A Wider Angle. November 2011 — See – November,2011 Aperture Newsletter
Our lives are dictated by it. From getting up to going to bed, travelling, going to work, fixing appointments and watching sports events with its halves, quarters and clocks (basketball has two of them for goodness sake!) and race placings measured down to hundredths of a second, it seems we are constantly living with one eye on the clock.
So it would be nice once in a while to get your own back. Beat the system. Show them who’s boss. Become a Time Lord in fact. In photography, you can do just that by using your shutter to freeze or str…….etttt…….chhhh time.
One of the fundamental tools that a photographer has is the ability to record time. Modern cameras have the technology to record smaller and smaller time intervals. It is quite feasible that your camera could be capable of recording 1/4000th second or less and, with a strobe light, even smaller segments of time can be recorded.
This capability allows us to freeze motion. We can also capture the progression of time by photographing a subject in quick succession using burst mode with the camera to produce a series of images showing, say, the effort of a runner crossing the finishing line. A sense of motion and passing time can be presented in many interesting ways.
By slowing down the shutter speed, any moving object can be blurred. This can be a bad thing which we might try to avoid but it also has the effect of establishing a sense of motion (and hence the stretching of time) in the photograph.
Moving the camera while shooting is also something we avoid. But moving the camera while focusing on a moving object, (panning) will also generate a sense of motion and time.
It’s also possible, if you didn’t capture it in the camera, to generate a sense of time and motion in your photos by using post processing techniques such as motion blur and multiple layering. The ultimate weapon in the battle against the clock is of course the ability of our camera to make time stand still completely and forever by recording that special time or place we want to remember. That is surely the beauty of photography.
See you around. Geoff