Project 16: Movement – narrative or evocation?

So, I’ve been trying to decide on how to express a sense of movement for this project. Of course a natural approach would be to explore and use film. However this would step outside one of the boundaries I have placed upon my own practice – to keep within the still frame. Given the nature of the MA framework with its focus on experimentation and digital imagery and the commonalities between film and photos – with the first joint exhibition being Film and Foto 1929 characterised photography by its breadth – it would have been all too easy to explore much wider than I have. But I want to stick within my self imposed boundary for a variety of reasons.

Firstly I like still images: they arrest moments. They freeze the single moment ether crisply, or by evoking a sense of movement through a slow shutter speed. These two photos below offer examples of what I mean.


Some photographers have taken issues to time to extremes. For example, Hiroshi Sugimoto made long exposures that were taken to cover the duration of a whole film on show.


While others evoke stillness through:

  • multiple exposures in single photos – Etienne-Jules Marey or,
  • sequential stills capturing movement – Maybridge

One of the key differences between the moving and still image appears to be that the later can communicate a complete narrative – it can be used to explain – whereas it’s generally agreed that still photos cannot. But I want to try and achieve quite a closed narrative using still imagery by producing a body of work.

Secondly, I want to garner and develop technical and artistic skills and awareness in this area. Thus to move outside it would fail to engage my interest.  

Accordingly, the question for now is whether I should focus my lens facing outward, away from me, or focus once more on my body? The DVD Coming Home offered me a way of exploring both.

Coming Home

Okay, Okay, I know what I said about moving images – but this is different Smile

D. Campany, (2008) Photography and Cinema Published by Reaktion Books
Coming Home (1978) Directed by Hal Ashby DVD, Metro Goldwyn Mayer


About Pete

South Londoner struggling with life, art and photography.
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