Playing with the Sun


by Mark Schrull

1/6/13 Lorain, Ohio – Video is a great medium.  I fool with it a lot myself.  It is the nature of video to show the passing of time.  There is nothing more boring than a video that continually shows the same scene with nothing happening.  Why watch a video of a chair when you can just look at a picture of the chair?

Photographs on the other hand capture a moment.  They freeze that moment in time.  Speed can be represented by streak blurring, which I suppose in some sense shows the passage of time.  There is time-lapse photography, which shows the passage of time.   Most of us have seen time-lapse video of a flower as it opens, or a building as it is constructed.  But time-lapse photography  takes us right back to video.

Now, what if we want to show the passage of time within a single picture.  The viewer has no way to watch a video.  Lets say it is just a picture hanging on the wall in a doctor’s office. .  Nothing more; no ups, no extras, no play button. The end goal is to have a single image which can be displayed that shows the passage of time.

Today I attempt to do this by “Playing with the Sun”.  I “stitch” several images together of a sunset, one at a time, saving each newly “stitched” image as it is created and then stitching another to it.  The end result is below.
Time 1
Below are photos I used and saves as I progressed to the final image.

Sunset paint APlain photographs taken as the sun sets over Lake Erie.

Sunset paint BAs you can see, in each photo, the sun is a little lower.

Sunset paint C
I leave the tree leaves in my first photo to give the shot depth.  The rest of the images  are cropped before “stitching” them to the right of the first.

stich 1This is the first combination.

As you can see, the tree is gone from the image added.

stich 2I stitch a third image to the first two.  I save the first image to the hard drive first.

This didn’t take long to do.  Forward thinking on the camera end helps.  Use a tripod,  (I didn’t in these.)  and consider the foreground and background of your subject matter.  Stitching is a great way to show motion or the passage of time.  It is also wonderful for a collage.               Stay creative!
Time 1

Click on any image to enlarge.

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