by swhoneyman

Memory to me is never as clear as reality. Therefore to portray the often hazy visualisations I wanted to use a mixture of flash, long exposure and colour to give the sense of remembering. I started by experimenting with these techniques.

I first started with experimenting with a longer shutter speed so that the movement either of the subject or the camera created a blurred distorted effect.  I started out with a shutter speed of 1 sec and F/22. This meant that although it was bright there was detail that showed up. For the first image I captured the movement of the subject. I liked how you got the essence of the body rather than the solid shape that you would normally get, as well I liked that without the solid state you can still tell what the image was of.


I then decided to experiment with Intentional Camera Movement. By moving the camera it meant that I could get a more abstract view of a still object.


Although I liked the abstractness of these images I find that they lack something that the first image did. I find that they are too busy and therefore loose the definition which gives the feeling of the essence of something that was once there.

The idea of capturing an image to portray something that either was once there or where a memory was made interests me as photography to me is the ability to capture a moment in time. This enables you to look back on this moment. Therefore trying to capture the essence of a moment in time in the past is something I haven’t tried to do before, and to me is not the ‘norm’.



For me the image above has worked best of the three. although blurry and somewhat abstract there is a solidness to it that the others don’t have meaning that you still can see the shape but there is an unease to the image due to the blurriness. However I think that the method needs to be refined as none of them are what I will want from my actual shoots.



Following this I moved back to capturing the movement more using the movement of the subject. However this time I wanted to experiment with the front of the face as it included more detail. I found that the first photo worked due to the lack of detail, and that this was in a way where the photo’s of the plant fell down (due to their complexity).










Nonetheless I found that again like with the photo’s of the plant they weren’t what I was looking for. The image above lost the definition of the face due to being an exposure of 4secs and more movement. The image below although still at 4secs had less movement and therefore you were able to get more detail. However due to this the darks became very dark. Neither image were what I was looking to achieve as both came out with a nightmarish feel to them.


Following on from this I decided to experiment with using a mixture of flash and long exposure. I thought about the techniques I used in club photography and how I could use them to portray my version of memory.

Screenshot 2014-05-13 20.30.22


Using these as examples they show the use of flash to create certain effects. Above I have used a second curtain flash so that it basically captures two images, almost like a double exposure type technique. This could be used to create a distorted but in focus image. Meanwhile below I have just used a single flash, when the shutter opens. This exposes the image and then any movement of the camera captures movement of light. This could be used to either get a single object in focus and then the rest of the image out of focus, or to use the light to add a dreamy, slightly blurry effect.

Screenshot 2014-05-13 20.30.15


I started with using a single flash and then moving the camera so to create a motion blur effect. This enabled me to capture a solid image but also have a bit of a blur which gives the sense of the distortion of memory. With the below image I started to play around with the colours a bit. I wanted to create a almost dreamily look to the image.


With the below image I used a slower shutter speed and included more movement from the camera this made the image even more distorted.



I decided to try the camera movement with a more complex scene rather than just using a single object/person. I found this had the faded, painterly feel that I was going for. The softness to the image to me gives the feel of the softness of memories. With the fading of the finer detail but the overall picture (memory) is solid.







Continuing with experimenting with flash I decided to play around with second curtain flash to see what sort of effects I could get. I decided to play with taking a photo of something, covering the lens, then uncovering for the second flash. I chose to do this as I thought it would create an in camera double exposure type effect which would hopefully give the sense of memories blurring together.

At first I decided to use a static object of the white chair. I thought the white would contrast quite well against the red brick. I liked the faded ghostly feel that the image had.



I continued by trying it with a face and the red brick wall. I experimented with different exposure times and how long I exposed the image before covering and moving. Evidently the longer I left the image exposing on the face before moving the stronger it came through. However I liked the more subtle exposures as they had more of a faded memory look about them.


IMG_1073 IMG_1076 IMG_1079

My favourite of the experiments with flash is the one above. As with some of the earlier experiments I started to play with the colour of the images to produce a sublime aesthetic. Sublime in that it is a heightened reality. I liked how the image of the girl was very subtle whilst the stones created an interesting background.