Task 2 – Photo and Time

In our seminar this week we were set our second task, which focuses on the passage of time through photography.  The task has a central theme of ‘CYCLE’, and there are three main aspects to it:
1. Create a joiner image in the style of David Hockney
2. Produce creative photo-images which exploit long exposure (eg light painting, motion-blur, slit-scan etc)
3. Produce creative photo images or sequences which exploit short exposure (eg, sports, frozen motion etc)

David Hockney, Joiners, and Cubism

I began my research for this  particular task by looking at the work of David Hockney. Hockney is known for creating images called ‘joiners’, which consist of two or more images, which are joined together to form one larger image. The photographs are taken from the same perspective, then joined together in such a way that they reflect the larger image. This can either be done with polaroids, physically laid over one another, or digitally merged together in a program such as Photoshop, both methods that Hockney has utilised.
This is an example of one of Hockney’s polaroid collages, Still Life Blue Guitar 4th April 1982:

This is an example of Hockney’s most famous joiner image, Pearblossom Highway, 11th-18th April 1986pearblossomhttp://www.hockneypictures.com/works_photos.php

Cubism is a style of painting that takes a similar approach to the one Hockney did  with his joiners. It involves the artist looking at the object which they want to paint from several different angles, and painting parts of it from each angle, leading to an abstract looking version of the image. The object appears as though it has been broken up and reassembled in a slightly different way. Georges Braque is an artist well known for his work with cubism, and this is an example of one of his most famous works, Violin and Candlestick:

Long Exposure Photography

The second aspect of this task requires me to experiment with long-exposure shots. These shots exploit a slow shutter speed to give the appearance of movement within an image. Any stationary objects within the frame remain in focus, but any movement becomes blurred. This technique can be exploited in a number of different ways:

Light painting involves a shutter speed of up to 30 seconds, while a light source is moved in front of the camera, essentially ‘painting’ the image that you want. The resulting picture can look like this:

Motion blur is used when you want part of an image to be blurred, hence giving the effect of movement. It is commonly used in sports, but is effective in many types of photography:


Long exposure is also commonly used to capture pictures of moving water, using slow shutter speeds to give the illusion of mist, while maintaining a sharp picture of the landscape around it:

Short Exposure Photography

The third and final aspect of this task requires me to make use of a fast shutter speed to capture my images. This technique essentially freezes time, capturing a sharp image of an object in motion, and so is typically used in sports photography:

It can also be used to create ‘frozen motion’ photography, which captures an image in a split second, creating a picture which shows an event in a way which may not have been seen with the naked eye:


Cinemagraphs are seemingly still photos, where a minor repetitive motion occurs, and so are presented as animated gifs. The technique is often used in fashion photography, to emphasise a certain aspect of the photograph:


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