Wil Lindsay: TimeFrames: Digital Magic Lantern Slides

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    TimeFrames: Digital Magic Lantern Slides


Creation Year:



Artist Statement:

    By looking at past technologies, we are able to better understand our current technology-driven pace of life. The TimeFrames image series is created from a purely digital emulation of the long-extinct Magic Lantern slide format of the late 1800s. This older photographic technology made use of slow collodion chemistry, which, in contrast to contemporary CCD-based digital cameras, often took minutes to capture an image. The slow image-capture process often eliminates the fast motion of humanity and machines from the very landscape a photographer hopes to document. This can encourage the viewer to reflect on the condition of our very lives. And yet this aesthetic anomaly is rarely achievable with the fast-capture digital cameras of today. As high-speed digital photography supplanted the older chemical-based technologies, the long-exposure image and its aesthetic was left to history.

    The TimeFrames digital lantern slides were created using a process borrowed from astronomical photography. The process starts with a digital video camera capturing hundreds to thousands of individual fast frames, and then algorithmically compressing them to a single image frame. This creates a perceived single exposure of many minutes, far beyond the capabilities of a single-image digital camera. The resulting image is digitally printed to toner and transferred to glass via a heat process. This transfer process causes a premature aging of the image, giving the overall image an antiquated look