Friday, January 16, 2009

Frozen Motion

Click image to view at 1024 pixels wide

Perspective and the illusion of motion are some of the amazing phenomena of photography. A hundred years ago such optical illusions were glimpsed momentarily and perhaps recorded by adventurous artists, but photpography revealed a world previously invisible. The famous sequence of photographs taken around 1890, showing a horse jumping a fence at fraction of a second intervals, and which demonstrated the mechanism for motion picture photography, is an example of this hidden world. This photograph was a simple snapshot from the window of a north-bound express between London and York on an autumn evening in 2007. Of the collection of stills and video the FinePix S5600 captured before the light grew too dim and the coachlights refelcted in the windows overrode everything outside, this one best epitomises the streaking speed of the train. The dimming light of evening, while compansated for my the auto-exposure, also produced a shutter speed slow enough for the streak effect to be pronounced.

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