For me the difficulty of this exercise was to choose the correct subject matter. My interpretation of the frozen moment is capturing something unfamiliar in the familiar. That is something we would not see when the object is in its ‘normal’ state. Initially I chose fast moving subjects that I could freeze with a fast speed. Yes it froze the subject but a car frozen at fast speed looks like a parked car. A train at speed looks like a train in the station. A bird fast in flight looks like a bird gliding in the air. There was no real difference other demonstrating the fact a fast speed would stop the motion. To be honest there was nothing overly exciting or creative about the images.
Compare the above to what is for me probably the ultimate frozen moment; Dr. Harold E. Edgertone’s 1964 image Bullet through Apple. The following link outlines the technicalities of how it was achieved however key to this image is it showed something that had never been seen by the human eye before. Clearly it was known of the entry and exit effects of a bullet but this had never been seen before. Also this image works at two levels in both aesthetically as standalone image but also has practical relevance to the study of ballistics and medicine alike.
Although a common subject matter I decided to use water. If could be argued that this was not a good subject matter as not only it is a bit clichéd but we know what frozen water looks like as naturally it is ice. My argument here would be we do not stop taking pictures of for example people because it has been done before (there is always a new angle to explore) and ice very rarely represents droplets in flight.
Initially my thoughts were to somehow capture a drop of water from a tap or a hose but by chance I was driving by a field on the way back to work on a bright day and the water pipe for animal drinking trough was blowing randomly in the strong wind.
I selected the fastest speed I could and opened up the aperture to get the minimal depth of field to isolate the subject. I am pleased with the images in spite of a number of issues in that:
- As the wind was swirling the water was constantly moved and was difficult to hold any focus. As a result a number of pictures were wildly out of focus
- With such a narrow depth of field and being up so close the slightest movement in and out of the water meant they were slightly out of focus. Although the frozen moment is captured the images are just not right.
- The logistic of being dressed in a work suit in a muddy field and every so often getting very we as the wind blew the water over me was somewhat challenging.
An aside point here is I wonder how much photography happens by a serendipitous happenchance nature in that I was not intending to look for this image or in fact any photography at all but just came across as chance entering the prepared mind and just happened to have the camera in the car.
The contact sheets show all the images taken good and not so good. All are at ISO 200 with the shutter speed mostly 1/1000 sec or 1/2000 however some are at 1/4000 sec