Part 3 Traces of Time – Project 1: The Frozen Moment

“The framing of a photograph is not just a framing of space but also of time.” (Vilém Flusser, 2000)

Exercise 3.1

Here fast shutter speeds have been used to freeze a moment of time where there has been a moving subject within the composition. It was asked of me within the exercise that I try to find the beauty in the fragment of time that fascinated John Szarkowski who believed that in fragmenting the movement of a subject we isolate thin slices of time to reveal something new, something we wouldn’t see through observing only through our human eyes. Swarkowski (2007, p.5) states, “There is a pleasure and beauty in this fragmenting of time that has little to do with what was happening. It had to do, rather, with seeing the momentary patterning of lines and shapes that had been previously concealed within the flux of movement.”

Fighting Ducks (f8, 1/3200, ISO 1600)FightingDucks

Several shots were taken of the ducks as they fought for approximately a minute. This shot captured the most pleasing composition of the ducks and water splashed within the frame. The aperture is allowing for the possibility of front to back sharpness across the ducks bodies’ given the telephoto lens. The high shutter speed helps capture a slice of time. ISO 1600 was sufficient to balance the exposure as there was plenty of available light, the greater risk was for some highlights to blow across the ducks’ lighter feathers.


Waterfall (f4, 1/250, ISO 800)WaterFall


The waterfall was shot at a relatively slow shutter speed by comparison with the ducks above. I feel that 1/250 did, for the most part capture a sense of a slice of time within the falling of the water as it passes down the channel across some of the rocks. The aperture was fairly wide open at f4, meaning that some areas of the images were going to be defocussed as I aimed for a semi-abstract view of the waterfall.


Blackheaded Gulls (f9, 1/3200, ISO 1600)BlackHeadedGulls

The blackheaded gulls in flight were taken, from a distance using a telephoto lens. This distance and lens necessitated an aperture of f9 and a high shutter speed. Several shots of the murmurations were taken that I might find a pleasing pattern of the gulls.


Coot, Nest and Chicks (f11, 1/2500, ISO 3200)CootNestAndChicks.jpg

The coot and her chicks were in a nest that was situated on a small area of isolated high ground in the water at the reserve so these subjects were again taken with a telephoto lens. The aperture was quite well stopped down as I hoped for front to back sharpness covering the chicks, nest and adult coot. The shutter speed was set high to try and capture the movement of the chicks and the adult. Here the adult had been preening and fluffed her feathers afterward creating a softer look whilst her chicks sat quite still for a moment.


Flusser, V  (2000) Towards a Philosophy of Photography. London:Reaktion Books
Szarkowski, J. (2007) The Photographer's Eye. New York: MoMA