Just for a Moment

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Transits 3 Untitiled

“A still photograph is called a still photograph because the picture doesn’t move, not because the objects in the picture are not in motion. The photographer’s mission, should he decide to accept it, is to capture motion with stillness.”

– Vincent Versace

Photography (and art in general) is such a contrary activity. We try to depict three dimensions in two, motion in stillness, the passing of time in a moment. Perhaps someday all these limitations will go away and we’ll be able to use holographic technology to recreate reality almost as we experience it.

Will this spell the end of art? Does art exist partly because the artist has to figure out a way to make his/her point within the confines of the constraints of the medium? I don’t know.

When photography was first developed in the 19th century some thought it meant painting was no longer necessary. In reality, since now there was a way to capture reality more literally it freed painting to move into more expressive directions. And photography itself quickly moved past it’s own literal tendencies.

I suspect holographic artists of the future will find ways to use that medium to do some very interesting, artistic things. In the meantime, I’m happy to keep capturing motion with stillness.

(This photo is part of a new series of figurative work I am working on. The effects are all done in camera by photographing figures in motion with special lenses.)

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7 responses to “Just for a Moment

  1. Simply wonderful, again. There is a deep poetry and romantic in these photos, I love it!
    I just noticed that you have a Flick account… a good idea, Bob. Flick is great if you want your photos to be found with Yahoo (quite a lot of clients found me through Flick…)
    What I especially love in painting and photography, is exactly the stillness and the 2 dimensionality. To capture motion with stillness and space with flatness.
    I am much less sensitive to other arts like cinema/videos and sculpture, for me they are kind of “too much”, “too concrete”. So much and so concrete that in fact I am missing something when I look at them!

    I really doubt that any new artistic technique will mean the end of our arts. Stillness, for example, is very important in human lives, no chance it could be eliminated from the art world. “Moments” are important witnesses of time passing by, somehow…
    As for the “flatness”, my body walks on surfaces… and my artistic brain too!
    In both cases I love the way our brains are involved in the creation and observation of still and 2-dimensional art. It gives the brain much more time and space to create his own story…

    (sorry, sometimes it is really hart to explain in English what I mean… my comment might sound a little bit confused!)

  2. Perhaps when the day arrives, and Holographic imagery allows us to recreate reality in all its glorious perfection, then art may really die. I see the subtle imperfections and flaws with which we paint our canvasses, (be they artistic or musical) as the filter through which OUR perceived reality is created for others to see. Art, and music, is informed by the creators’ opinion, their skills as applied to their own character and humanity.

    I once recorded a piano piece, and through the best available technology at the time, ‘quantized’ it, as I am not a ‘proper” piano player. Sure enough, the computer corrected all my errors….and promptly stole my soul. without my”imperfections” my corrected piece was as dull as dishwater!

    With this beautiful piece the very “imprecise” nature of the image is a perfect way to convey movement and grace.

  3. Miki/Kev-

    To be honest, one of the things I missed most during my hiatus from blogging was your insightful, heartfelt and poetic comments. It’s nice to be back!

    I think we’re all in agreement that one of the critical components of art is it’s very inability to depict reality perfectly. The gap between the marks we make and reality is the space in which our unique vision and expression roam.

    As they say, vive la difference!

    Wildstorm-

    I love the lensbaby and it’s distortions – it keeps me in the aforementioned gap…

  4. You should take a look at onOne’s Focalpoint 1.0 software. Think lensbaby but with total control of how the blur happens on angle, perspective amount and types.

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