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Temporal Photography

Adding the fourth dimension to your pictures…
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Most fancy digital cameras these days have an option allowing you to “stitch” together a series of photographs to form one huge panoramic shot – through some fancy digital shenanigans the camera is able to match up the end of one picture with the beginning of the next, and so join the pictures together in one seamless strip.

But, as usual, whatever complicated technology can do, man can do better, albeit with a little more legwork and general effort.

Most of us have a specific journey that we take time and time again, day in day out. Whether it’s the route you take to work or the favourite walk you tread with your dog, each one of us probably has a particular path in our lives that we’ve trod enough times for us to make it our own. Even if it is just the saunter down to the pub. So, on the first of January, at nine in the morning, go out and take a photo of the start of your particular walk. Then follow your favoured route a few more steps down the line, and take a second picture whose edges overlap slightly with the first.

Then, on the first of February at ten in the morning, take your second photograph with you on your walk (as well as your camera, of course), and try to reproduce it exactly. Take the exact same photo, as best you can. Then take another photo a little along the line which overlaps slightly with the picture you’ve just taken…

I’m hoping you get my drift by this point. Each month, on the same day (or near as dammit, depending on weather conditions) but an hour later each time, you take another picture, along with a reference shot for next month. As the months roll by – as they inevitably will, what with time being the single-minded recalcitrant bastard that it is – you’ll capture all the aspects of that familiar route: sun-kissed by summer, with everything blazing frantically beneath a mid-day sun, or (just as appealing), a bleary-eyed, half-slumbering autumnal landscape being grudgingly nudged awake by the slanted twilight shadows that the lateness of the photographed hour has lent them.

After a year has passed, you’ve got twelve photos, which - after a few hours of Photoshop-centred chicanery – merge (almost) seamlessly into a single panoramic strip. Not only has the passing of the seasons been captured, but (given that you’ve remembered to take each photo one hour after the last) you’ve also caught on film the longest day since Neptune last revolved around the sun.

Imaginary Variations: If your journey is circular, so much the better. Seems kind of fitting (given the whole cycle of the seasons/cyclic nature of day and night) that the final photo should link back to the first. Might make a nice frieze if you have any spare circular rooms in your house that you’re unsure how to decorate.

Use a timed camera. It might be fun to put yourself in each and every picture. In a “Where’s Wally?/Waldo" kind of way. “I'm the guy wearing the duffelcoat/fleece/t-shirt/nothing/t-shirt/fleece/dufflecoat…” Hours of fun.

lostdog, Mar 25 2003

Tempural Photography http://www.tonidunl.../shrimp_tempura.jpg
Oh, I thought you meant... [Worldgineer, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Baked, Kinda http://graphics.sta...mporal/walk041.html
Just found this link today, although it doesn't take into account the seasonal aspects of the idea, and, well, doesn't seem to have been done very well either. Although I did like the sine-wave sun effect... [lostdog, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

A year in 12 Minutes http://www.in70mm.c.../abandoned/road.htm
A year along the abandoned road [csea, Oct 05 2004, last modified May 26 2007]

A Year Along the Abandoned Road -making of http://www.in70mm.c...abandoned/index.htm
you have GOT to see this on you tube... this was voted the best norweign short film ever or something. A camera on rails pans around a lake over the course of a year. It's incredible. [nicholaswhitworth, Apr 09 2010]

A Year Along the Abandoned Road - youtube http://www.youtube....watch?v=oHxxelGu-Ic
youtube video, 10 min long or so - but probably the best time lapse i've seen. At first it's not all that interesting... [nicholaswhitworth, Apr 09 2010]

[link]






       Neat idea. If I understand correctly, this becomes a 360 degree panorama.   

       <attempting to understand> Perhaps you could simply set up a tripod at a location that would never move and take a snapshot at the same time every day, rotating a bit less than one degree each time. Simply take the one-degree difference and place it beside the rest of the panorama: at the end of the year you will have a panorama that starts in the spring at one end then changes through all the seasons as you look along it. </attempt>   

       I like it quite a lot. Double croissant even though i can only vote once.
Macwarrior, Mar 25 2003
  

       If you were enough of an anorak with the know-how and money to pull it off you could probably make a small programmable robot to do it all for you while you stay in bed and just say you did.   

       Produce a more reliably similar photo, too, since it just goes a pre-programmed route without the slight variation a human would put in it without trying.
Freelancer, Mar 25 2003
  

       A wonderful thing
Temporal Photography
For you a croissant
ato_de, Mar 26 2003
  

       I really love this one. What an amazing panorama it would be. I'm tempted to try it, but my schedule is too varied for it to be practical for me (and I'd forget).   

       I hope someone has a go and posts the result.
madradish, Mar 26 2003
  

       I would love to do this and then paint the walls of my study using these photographs as a guide. Then I could move from season to season, depending on the oproject at hand... Thank you, [lostdog]!
brenna, Mar 26 2003
  

       Hm, two auto-boners... would that mean that there's an auto-boner-cloner responsible for the second?
Freelancer, Mar 27 2003
  

       This is very similar to a story by Paul Auster ("Auggie Wren's Christmas Story"), made into the movie "Smoke."
Only without the walk.
Artistically, I prefer the set of images of one space connected across time, to show the nuanced changes that days, weeks, months and then years of time bring.
In Auster's story, photos of one city street corner every morning, regulars can be seen in pictures spanning 12 years.
"I was no longer bored...as I had been at first. Auggie was photographing time, I realized, both natural time and human time, and he was doing it by planting himself in one tiny corner of the world and willing it to be his own."
roby, Apr 01 2003
  

       This was done at the end of Zardoz, to show the later development of the characters. It's also a quite famously web site where the photographer has photographed his family growing up/older.   

       That midnight sun composite is neat.
DrCurry, Apr 01 2003
  

       I really like projects like this... I once put my camera on a timer, pointed out on the backyard. It took a photo every hour for two months on my digi, (It took me a few tries to do this without flub ups) and then had a computer geek turn them into a movie which lasted only a minet, or 12 images a second, and another five minet one, 3 images a second with fadeing in between. It is interesting to see the weather change.
catch23, Jan 13 2004
  

       I think I've seen this baked the summer 2002 when I took a trip in Germany.. there was a series of photos just as you describe, exposed somewhere into an art galery somewhere around Munich..
sweet, Feb 25 2004
  

       There is a marvelous short film called "A Year Along An Abandoned Road" which was shot in time-lapse photography (one frame at a time!) on 65mm film at about 115 frames/day (reproduced at 24 fps this is about 4-1/2 seconds per day.) An absolute must-see if you ever get the chance!   

       see [Link]
csea, Feb 25 2004
  

       Beautiful! (+)
energy guy, Aug 05 2004
  

       that movie is incredible... as for the idea... i think basically you're trying to describe time-lapse, or worse yet some kind of 'lots of images in one image'. Time lapse is super-incredible, and i Really look forward to the day when robots crawl around with time-lapse heads on. This 'abondoned road' film is the closest i've seen to that.
nicholaswhitworth, Apr 09 2010
  
      
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