I made models out of illuminated materials, time and blended photography. I have been making them as a test of a photographic tool I made to understand an architectural space. I thought of the idea for this tool last summer but I didn’t know how to build it. I spoke about it with my dad and he built it. None of this would have been possible without his help. The tool consists of a digital camera with a fisheye lens, a motion sensor and an Arduino.

Nikon D200 motion lapse camera set up

camera set up

The camera is set to respond to motion. If the sensor detects motion it signals the Arduino to run the following program:

 

  1. pause one second
  2. trigger the shutter and make one photograph
  3. pause three seconds
  4. trigger the shutter and make one photograph
  5. pause three seconds
  6. trigger the shutter and make one photograph
  7. pause three seconds
  8. trigger the shutter and make one photograph
  9. pause three seconds
  10. trigger the shutter and make one photograph

If the sensor still senses motion the program is repeated. If not, the camera stops taking photographs. The camera has been running since November 21, 2010. Between then and March 1, 2011 the camera was only triggered between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. The sensor was located on a column about 25 feet from the camera. On March 1, 2011 I removed that restriction and moved the sensor closer to the camera.

The result of this experiment has been over 100,000 photographs of the same view. Until March 13, 2011 I was observing activity the camera captured. I used the auto blend function in Adobe Photoshop to merge multiple photographs together. The process of finding interesting packets of photographs, loading them into layers in Photoshop and auto blending them resulted in blends of activity.

On March 23, 2011 I decided to begin using light and time to explore ideas of space and transparency. The camera is in shutter speed priority mode and it is set to 1/15th of a second. That means that after dark the photographs are almost completely black. If there is a light on in the space below the camera it has a strong contrast with the surrounding area. I began by collecting light tools and moving them around the space. Knowing that I would blend the photographs together later helped me understand how to make models with simple illuminated materials and time.

individual frames

individual frames

blended photograph

blended photograph

inverted, blended model

inverted, blended model

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