Project 2, Exercise 2- Mechanical Nature.

Does the ‘mechanical’ nature of photography make it a medium uniquely suited to portraying time and the passage of time?

The idea that photography is suited to portraying time and the passage of time is true to me as it does.

Throughout this course time has been a recurring theme. We have been constantly asked to portray what we feel about time and its place and the way it makes us feel. Photography can be seen as a medium to the passing of time. You only have to look at old family albums or pictures of how things used to be to see that.

I have been thinking more about it as I have been researching art works and photographers that create work using time.


Duane Michals– This Photograph Is My Proof-1967– accessed 6th May 2017.

This image to me signifies a moment in time that is special to the photographer and him as a lover in a relationship. You guess that the relationship is no more, but you also see the extent of this first deep love between people. It doesn’t give you any hints of what happened after the photograph and neither should it but to have this on film and there in front of you to me is special. Regardless of what happened ‘it’ happened and the passage of time tells you so. I feel there is a sense of loss, youth, love and future in the caption. The picture is a self portrait and it isn’t staged in the familiar way of posed. It’s genuine with maybe a bit of direction I’m guessing.

Can other creative art forms deal with the concept of time to the same extent?

I think photography can capture time but it also captures moments and feelings. These are frozen and with the likes of film they are forever unless you don’t get the film developed, lose it or rip up the pictures.  A photograph can only really capture a moment in time form, the time it was taken whether that be today or 100 years ago. They are nostalgic and take us back to a place that can either be good or bad and leave us thinking about it and how we were, the people we were with and what it was really like rather than what it looks like to an outside viewer.

I think paintings and portraits can also show time mainly due to what the painting is of. Video also as it’s an old medium but with videos now in front of you on your phone they can be taken, looked at and later on that day deleted as if it never happened.

I think photography by itself is good at portraying time but it can also work with other mediums such as sound, installations, light, video and writing.



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