Blog | Architecture of Seeing

A blog for photographers about art, aesthetics and conceptual issues explored in a way that I hope will help photographers reach beyond their technical skill set to become better artists, writers, and thinkers.

Sequencing

© Lane Barden (from the Linear City project)

© Lane Barden (from the Linear City project)

I am captivated by the way photography is inextricable from time, and the way it mimics the way we think and remember. Time is like a property and birthright of the medium, etched into each image. Photographs also must unfold in sequences over time and this unfolding becomes a salient quality of the experience of photographing. We used to look at proof sheets for hours, and it became a photographic activity of its own. Now we see sequences of images as they begin to appear on a computer display in a cataloguing program.

Either way, the effect is the same. I am interested in the way the photographic experience can inform the work, and I found, while working on the Linear City project that photographic sequences could become a conceptual model for the way landscape could be seen and understood. I felt that conventional aerial photography, made randomly without a framework, was often too disorienting to make large tracts of landscape understandable to people who had never seen them from above.

So I planned my flights carefully, asking the pilot to keep the helicopter at the same low altitude and to hover and turn to a ninety degree angle so I could shoot on axis with the lines in the landscape.  With the horizon line kept close to the top of the image, I could shoot each photograph with approximately the same camera angle. The result was a kind of typological sequencing that gave structure to the photographs and a result in a more coherent understanding of the subject.

Contact Sheet by Robert Pledge

Contact Sheet by Robert Pledge

From Edweard Muybridge's motion studies.

From Edweard Muybridge's motion studies.