By September 27, 2011 4 Comments Read More →

The Camera as Time Machine

Piling remains. Canon 50mm macro lens, 39 sec @ f22, ISO 50. (Copyright 2011 / Andrew Boyd)

Piling remains. Canon 50mm macro lens, 39 sec @ f22, ISO 50. (Copyright 2011 / Andrew Boyd)

How do you experience time? Is it always speeding by you minute-by-minute, one detail at a time, always just out of your grasp? Do you make lists or use an organizer to try and get control over your time? Do you feel like time (and your life) is speeding by you, out of control? Do you wish you could make time slow down, so you could savor it at least a bit?

Our modern existence is usually controlled by, and experienced through, the clock: we work to it, relax to it, sleep according to its dictates. The clock is simply a more granular version of the calendar, isn’t it? Hours become days, days become weeks, weeks become months, on and on and on…

But what if I told you that your photography could become a way to experience time differently?  What if your photography could become a portal into a different, equally valid universe?

Sounds crazy, I know, but this is one of the things that photography sometimes does for me. Right when I’m feeling like things are out of control, a shooting session will always bring me back down to earth, re-ground me in what’s true and beautiful.

Such is the story behind this image today.

On my way to work, not late yet, the wind was blowing out of the north as I crossed Lake Pontchartrain on my morning commute. The spray was blowing up in interesting ways and I took a detour out to the West End of New Orleans, an area that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Grabbing my tripod and camera bag, I hiked out over the last hundred yards to the lake shoreline, where rip rap and rubble form the coast for the New Orleans shore. A storm was threatening, the wind was blowing and the brackish spray was splashing at my shoes…but there were interesting photographs to try and make!

I spent about 20 minutes working on a few ideas. This is one of the results that I liked. Time slows down and the earth revolves more slowly for me when I look at this image.

Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Or subscribe to our Facebook page or our Twitter feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

Posted in: Gallery

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

4 Comments on "The Camera as Time Machine"

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  1. chris says:

    o.k. it’s official….I love the way you think

    for years I’ve been trying to solve the mystery of why I always feel better when I’m taking pictures….even if they just accumulate in my drawer…it feels good knowing that I somehow captured time…guess that’s what we are all trying to do…slow down time long enough to savor it a little.

    love your website…please keep it going

  2. Thanks Chris! Nicest comment I’ve had in quite a while.

  3. Bruna says:

    I’m happiest when taking pictures. Sometimes I thought that was a personality defect – like I’d rather be an observer than a participator. Your reflections resonated with me. Maybe I’m not weird afterall. 🙂

  4. No, not weird! To be a successful photographer, you’ll need sharpened senses of observation.

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