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Illusion of Eternity

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 21 June 2022 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.


Today's photo is one from a series of long exposures which I photographed at Conto Beach in Western Australia some time ago. It was a lovely evening which promised very little but delivered a lot. There were almost no clouds in sight when we ventured out for sunset photography but just as the sunset approached, some wonderful clouds were blown in and I was able to take advantage of their rapid motion through extended shutter speeds.

I started first with shorter exposures, just to see what movement of the water I was able to get and what possibilities it provided. I did like some these shots but they did not quite stir my enthusiasm that much. The clouds also looked just a bit "normal" in the first few photos and therefore I soon decided to concentrate on extended exposures. It can be sometimes difficult to do make that decision. During one single long exposure, I would otherwise be able to take a larger number of standard photos and even have extra time to move around to find different compositions. Once I decide to go long, I need to be sure of my composition and conditions because after the exposure is done, I might not have a chance to re-shoot it again, especially in rapidly changing conditions such as sunrises or sunsets. Once the light fades there is no getting it back.

Shooting long exposures is also interesting in the way that one does not know what the result will be until the very last second. There is no way of previewing the result quickly and obviously you do not get the instant review which is available at short shutter speeds. This can be very rewarding but also very frustrating when the image you planned does not quite come up to the expectations. Sometimes even a small mistake can render the entire process a disaster. I am not even going to go into things such as forgetting to put on the neutral density filter for the entire duration of an exposure and discovering a beautifully white frame of nothingness as the result. Yes, I have done that before!

The rewards far outweigh the small frustrations, though, and when these work, they are my favourite kind of photography. Bending reality in camera for that ethereal illusion of eternity is pure magic for me. It is pushing the boundaries of photography into something of a visual art but then again so is creative processing of images. I believe there is time and place for all of that in photography. When I was first drawn into photography, I just wanted to photograph the beauty of the world around us in a simple manner. Once I moved on further along my journey, I knew that I wanted to create more than just a document of a moment (not that there is anything wrong with that, I like good documentary style photos). Photos like this one is where this journey has taken me and I hope have enjoyed it as well.

I do not really follow a chronological timeline when posting my photos because I want to keep them reasonably varied. There may be times when I photographed only seascapes or only long exposures for longer periods of time and I try to mix them up a little so that hopefully you will not get tired of seeing too much of the same thing. If you ever have any questions or suggestions please always feel free to express them. I appreciate all your comments and interest very much and I am always open to discussion.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 359 seconds F/8.0 ISO 200 16 mm

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Magical and Enchanting by Steven