Through the Archives – Long Exposure

I was looking for a file earlier and whilst rooting around in the depths of my hard drive I found this!

It’s one of the few photographs I took in my A level Photography course which I was genuinely proud of. Looking back I really don’t know why I didn’t pursue it more, instead of settling in the end on an idea I wasn’t fully engaged with.

It was the result of a number of hours in the studio experimenting with long exposure with one of my classmates, exploring how light behaved in a pitch black, studio environment, using the figure: It involved a simple method where the subject (a female usually, because we needed long hair) would stand in front of a tungsten lamp (which was unbelievably hot) and then make a rapid motion.

What happened was the translucent part of the figure e.g. baggy clothes and hair would catch the light, and because of the long exposure, make these long, energised, sweeping curves.

This was my favourite one because the figure looked least like a figure (the black blob), and the light existed as the subject instead. I think long exposure appeals to me because of its similarity with painting: light is dragged across the frame as if with a paintbrush, and there’s an element of chance about it, just as there is in gestural, more abstract paintings.

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