Thoughtfactory: large format

a minor blog about the trials, tribulations and explorations of large format, analogue photography in Australia

photography and time

The concept behind this  post was to explore the relationship between photography and time. 

The common sense or naïve conception  of time understands temporality as a constant stream of now-moments, or a succession of nows that come into being and pass away. Multiple now-moments strung out in a line.  The traditional conception of time as a continuous series of “nows”  can be found in Aristotle. 

Still photography is traditionally seen as a slice of time, and in the context of the naive conception time this photo would be interpreted  as now moments .   The now moment when the shutter of the 5x4 Sinar  camera was realised. Time, on this account, is an object that stands apart from us. It  is calculative or clock time.   

This image though is an attempt to explore temporality as an interweaving of past, present, and future. The future in the sense of  what is looming ahead, or what is already on its way. What is  on its way is  the ongoing decay and  breakdown of the log, twigs  and leaves. 

The photo represents both  the present being of the log as what has already happened in the past and the  present  into the future.  The now of the present is an interface between past and future that is filled by more than what Is present.  The past is not dead and the future is not foreign. 

The gathering of past and future in the present highlights the fullness of time. The photo gathers  and preserves what has passed and what will come to pass in  light of the now. In standing  in the now moment we are turned two ways: past and future run up against one another.

A poetic conception of time?