Time Stacks by Matt Molloy

Time-lapse photography has a history about as long as photography itself and the effect of the photographic image on art has had a huge influence.  The blurring of an image has been repeatedly used – whether in the cause of Impressionism, Futurism, or any number of artistic ‘ideals’ – that its photographic origins are sometimes forgotten.

Traditional time-lapse photography tends to create a smooth blurring effect, a softening of the image, a merging of motion into a continuous stream of light.  Matt Molloy, a photographer from Ontario in Canada, has taken a different approach.  For his time-lapse images he has ‘stacked’ a sequence of time-lapsed images, creating a staggered blurring effect.  The images are quite ethereal, bridging the line between a photograph and a painting.

Matt Molloy ‘Land of the Giant Lollipops’

Matt Molloy ‘Sky Sculptures’

Matt Molloy ‘Smeared Sky Sunset’

Matt Molloy 'Sunset Spectrum'

Matt Molloy 'Spun'

Abstract Realities by Serge Najjar

I love architecture and I love photography and it is great to see these two art forms coming together and creating really striking images.
Yes, the architecture is already there, a space filling physical object which can be walked around and should, of course, be experienced first hand; but what sometimes makes a particular building or place somewhere that people want to visit can be down to the eye of the photographer.  A good photograph shows us what a thousand bad ones fail to show – the beauty, symmetry, elegance or humour of a place and it’s people.
The photo’s in the series ‘Abstract Realities’ by Serge Najjar (of Beirut, Lebanon) do just this.  They highlight the repetitive patterns and angles of the architecture and also feature a person, to give both scale and often light relief from the austerity of the geometric lines.
Here a few words by Serge Najjar on his LensCulture page:-

Every Saturday I drive my car towards a destination still unknown and guide myself by my instinct, by light and by whatever attracts my eye. This is when I stop, position myself and wait for something to happen.

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Photographs by Erik Johansson

The photographs of Erik Johansson combine the surrealist eye for the absurd (in a similar way to Rene Magritte) with the visual contortions of the work of E.C. Escher.

Johansson is a professional photographer who has produced work for Microsoft, Adobe, National Geographic, Google and Volvo, amongst others.  It is interesting that he does not try to conceal his digital manipulations; going so far as to produce videos revealing the laborious behind-the-scenes manipulations he has to go through to, as he puts it, “realise the ideas in my mind“.

Considering the amount of torn up countryside, roads scored or dragged through the landscape and general disintegration evident in much of his photography, I wonder if it reveals something about his inner psyche…?

Leaving Home

Go Your Own Road

Fishy Island

Greenfall

Arms Break Vases Don’t

Cut And Fold

Common Sense Crossing

–oOo–

 

 

High Density High-Rise in High Definition – Photographs of Hong Kong by Peter Stewart

Cities are great places to visit, but I would not like to live in one.  The proximity of people, the confinement of endless streets and buildings, the noise and pollution.  Of course some cities are much better than others in this respect; but on the whole the idea of being squeezed into an apartment along with loads of other people where the nearest green space is a park full of other people, is really not for me at all.

This containment of human life is taken to an extreme in Hong Kong where tiny apartments, one repeatedly on top of the other, is the norm for many thousands of people.  This extreme environment is a perfect subject for photographic art – its repeated patterns with slight and occasional variation can create very structured and striking images.  This has been the subject of Peter Stewart‘s photography which has an elegance in its composition, yet the prison like scenes it depicts lends the picture a darker edge then the essentially abstracts grids they portray.

Lai Tak Tseun Apartments in Causeway Bay by Peter Stewart

Montane Mansion in Quarry Bay by Peter Stewart

‘little boxes’ Yick Cheong Buildings in Quarry Bay by Peter Stewart

Oi Man Estate in Ho Man Tin, Kowloon by Peter Stewart

Choi Hung Estate in Wong Tai Sin by Peter Stewart

Photographs by Oleg Oprisco

In my previous post I noted that for me an interesting photograph needs to be either beautiful of odd (or both, of course).  Because of the immeasurable amount of images we see on a daily basis, often without even consciously recognising them, a photograph needs to grab the attention of the viewer in a striking way and different photographers approach this problem in vastly different ways.  I like to find the out of place or an unusual composition that is there without my interference, so I rely on my sensibility in seeing things in a particular way – a photographic equivalent of the ready-made.  Other photographers like to be more in control and create their visions through meticulous staging.  One such photographer is the Ukranian Oleg Oprisco who creates perfectly composed dream-like scenes which combine the jarring unreality of surrealism with the romance of the fairytale in equal measure.

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Reflected Trees by Prince Cavallo

Having posted and written about a number of my photographs on this blog, I have noticed that I tend to gravitate towards a couple of points of interest that can be seen as interrelated.  One is nature – how can anyone not be in awe of the natural world and the beauty of it’s complexity; another is decay – the tragedy of decay heightens our appreciation of beauty because we know that nothing last for ever, nature sees to that; and third is the odd – if an image is not beautiful, in subject or composition, then surely it should be odd to catch the eye.  If a photograph is not one of these things, or a combination of them, then for me it has little interest.  A photograph needs to be arresting in some way or it is merely dull.

The photograph I have chosen this week is largely nature orientated, although it does have a touch of the odd about it.  The muddy bank and the short posts are in focus, so technically they should be the subject of the photograph; yet the shimmering, out-of-focus reflection of the trees (which are themselves physically out of shot) are, as the title suggests, the true point of interest in this picture.

The fact that the beauty of the shot is distorted and half-seen gives it an air of mystery, and the muddy bank grounds the image literally to an earthy reality.  Without the muddy bank I don’t think the photograph would work half as well and it would probably be an abstracted mess of a photograph – or maybe it is anyway; beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Reflected Trees by Prince Cavallo