The Extensible Moment

2 of 3 posts in 1-Minute Movies

The digital camera offers the photographer a new dimension in image-making–we might call it the extensible moment. Photographs made using film technology can be said (as John Berger does) to cut across time. The minute-long photographs that result from holding a digital camera in one position in movie mode embrace or include time as motion while retaining the lure of the photographic glimpse. Now explicitly, for the first time, narrative begins to intrude in the photograph, to emerge from the frame, and, with repeated viewing, elements of “plot” can be discovered in the “instantaneous,” along with impudent traces of upstart allegory and fable.

My first 1-minute movie was filmed near Studio C103 at the intersection of Commercial Drive, Commercial Street, 18th Avenue, Findlay Street and Victoria Diversion (a complicated corner in Vancouver). I held the camera on a monopod, and watched the timer count down in the corner of the viewfinder. I let the “shot” continue for 2 minutes or so, and later trimmed out the minute presented here. The image is brighter and sharper in the original: it has softened up in the transition to Youtube. This is no doubt remediable, once I learn more about what I’m trying to do here.

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