photography and the role of time

I was made aware of a great photographer, Michael Wesely,  by good friend Auke Vleer (who is not that bad himself :))
This photographer is very famous (so this post is like way duhhh) for his long exposure shots of buildings and cityscapes.
This is his website Too bad that he doesn't have any large format pictures on his website (not that I would have dared to post them). As a mater of fact I think his website looks more as a german (he ìs german) modernist (he is) architect (for which he has an obious knack) than the site of a hot photographer, but, hey, who the hell am I to judge the guy.
I must say that I was slightly disappointed with the photographic results. When I was told how this man works and that uses shutter times up to three (!!!!) years I became extremely curious. I did not know what I could expect but the sheer monumentality of the effort, this almost archaeological endeavour... I guess I had expected the final result to be a bit more awesome aswell. Monumental if you wish.
Don't get me wrong I believe these are fantastic and gorgeous images, but it turns out that for me the patina of history, the flux, the erosion caused by people and elements are simply vanished. Maybe the shutter time is on the long side after all?


This image which I took from another great weblog (yeah, there's a couple out there..) is taken in Berlin and has a shutter time of two (devastating) years.

Another photographer that makes interesting work is Bill Travis. Something completely different, yet...!
What we see here is a different kind of visualization of time (and the passing of it). For me this borders on kitsch, but at the same time the historic and nostalgic looking photo's remind me of Davis Lynch movies (but from the 1900's).
Check out the link above for photo's.

Reason I am interested in all of this, besides a natural interest in photography, is that I bought a panorama photo from ebay.

It is a photo from 1919 and made with a so-called cirkut camera. This camera passes a scene in a couple of "sweeps". It is therefore possible for  people and elements to appear several times in the picture (which it was not used for in this image).
The same friend that told me about Michael Wesely had a book about the work of Eugene Goldbeck. A photographer who's claim to fame is the assembly, production and visualization of huge vistas of military personnel who are arranged in Norh Korean style. Absolutely stunning images.
So, I decided I wanted one of those panorama's for my home. This McClymonds photo is humble in it's compositional ambition compared to Goldbeck, but it is something I can't wait to see and admire.


I believe there's 21.000 people in this picture....

McClymonds info

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