PhotoSurreal – Camera Emphasises Time over Space

Jay Mark Johnson—an architect and renaissance man— purchased a $85,000 rotating slit-scan camera for high-resolution panoramas. (The camera records vast landscapes sliver by sliver.) Finding the accidental effects of motion in front of the camera strangely poetic, he experimented with stopping the rotation and honing in on one tiny area.

The photographic images below are the result.

los osos (compressed time waves series) Jay Mark Johnson.

Fig 1-  Waves on the beach in Los Osos, California.  Los Osos. Form the compressed time wave series. –  Jay Mark Johnson.

This surreal look is possible because the fixed-position slit camera ‘scans’ the environment through a single vertical slit. Whatever passes that slit by gets registered in a narrow line. Over a period of time, which the artist can control, it registers line after line.

The final result is a bunch of these lines all pushed together. In this sense, you could say each photograph is a time graph – it’s actually a composite of hundreds of very skinny photographs glued together with time read on the Y-axis.

Priscilla Electric Lodge #47-0. Jay Mark Johnson.

Fig 2 – Priscilla Electric Lodge #47-0.  Somehow, we think Salvador Dali would approve.

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To read more about this innovative photographic technique and the artist, use the links provided below.

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