I have been interested in long exposure photography for quite some time. My interest started after I saw amazing photographs made by Denis Olivier, his pictures look like they are not from this world, being unreal but tranquil and meditative in the same time. Since then I have been trying to master this technique on my own. I was learning by mistakes, and digital camera was extremely helpful tool thanks to which I manage to understand the whole workflow. However two years ago I switched to analog camera system and now I am using mainly black and white films.
After my technique improved and I was able to achieve pictures with the “fancy” long exposure effect I started to think more and more about the meaning of those photographs and what I actually want to communicate through them. This part was not easy but at the end it was very helpful for my future direction in the world of photography.
My rational behind long exposures is not neither original nor unique, but I am trying to achieve the surreal/abstract feeling in my photographs, and also to reveal the inner world, which we cannot see with naked eye and the photograph is taking us to another world full of unknown and mystery. In one of his interviews Michael Kenna is using expression “cumulative time” in reference to long exposures, which I found to be very true.
To be absolutely honest the first reason why I started with the long exposures was the “effect” itself. Moving clouds and milky water, those are the elements, which can get a lot of attention and look very “cool”. But as with everything, after some time this effect can become a little bit of cliché, so to avoid such results we have to keep going further, we have to think more about what we do and what we want to communicate with it. When we are able to answer all those questions we can move forward and not to get stuck with “effective” but “empty” photographs. Let’s hope the latter will be our case we will be able to produce some meaningful and compelling photographs.