Let the Slow Begin

Camera Station #10, Simulated one month exposure.

Finally, after six months, some slow retreat time has opened up and I am able to start the lengthy process of setting up the 4000 photos taken at Windgrove Tasmania from the 11 camera stations. This earlier postalks about this aspect of the residency – basically an attempt to slow down the process of photography to match the pace of how landscapes are formed in geological time periods.  The unstated goal (can you have an unstated goal on a blog…?) is to work towards simulating shutter speeds of years, decades, centuries, and millennia. This is a first baby step – a two-month shutter speed.

The photographs were taken at all times of day and night from a fixed point over two months. They are taken using visible, ultra-violet, and infrared light. A scientist would call this “raw field data” . Now, back at the lab/studio, all the raw images need to be registered to each other and then overlaid in different configurations… Not a small chore *(note to geeks below). Here is an earlier post that describes the collecting of all the original photos.

These first attempts at merging these image are from the camera stations that I think are the simplest and most straight forward – working up to the harder ones and ones I think have the most potential.  Basically, I need to learn how this works. Mistakes usually bring gifts at this point.

For comparison, below is a regular snapshot taken from the same camera location.

Camera Station #10. Typical snapshot from camera location.


Camera Station #4 below. A first experimental version followed by a regular snap shot from the same vantage point. It is evident that night photos are working into the equation because you can see the lights of a town in the upper left corner.

Camera Station #4. Simulated two month exposure.
Camera Station #4, Typical snapshot from camera location.


*  Note to Geeks.  Visible, ultra-violet, and infrared light wavelengths are so different that they focus at different lens points.  Thus, when in focus on the sensor, each image is a different size.  Plus, lens distortion is not the same across all three wavelengths.  Thus, you cannot simply align the images in Photoshop for layering.  Everything needs to be tweaked – usually by hand.  What is not perfect in this process becomes an artifact that is whole-heartedly embraced by the artist…

3 thoughts on “Let the Slow Begin

  1. I wanted to say something about these pics after seeing Peter’s slide show— and I couldn’t form the words but your description is exactly where I was headed…that somehow you had become strong enough to stand up to time itself, strong enough to let yourself sort of step aside and give over to The Big Stuff. Even now I am not so articulate but if I talked in comic panels there would be little you with tiny camera in hand standing up to a huge arching Milky Way with no heart, just blinding searing truth. And you would not quiver, but say, “I will grasp you, I will capture you, because I now understand time…” and the next panel would show you as a 1/4 inch speck and the Heartless Milky Way would be laughing from infinity far away.

    Awe inspiring.
    Keep going.

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