Experimental Digital Photography (EDP) by Rick Doble -- online exhibits
My latest experiments with motion photos of space and time taken at slow shutter speeds.
These are real photographs of a real people, places and events; they were not created with computer software.

Rick Doble's
Experimental Digital Photography Book
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Click On A Photo Below To Browse These Online Exhibits
--- each exhibit has from 30 - 40 photos ---

rodeo horses and riders, space-time experimental digital photography
Rodeo Photos of Horses and Riders
guitar players, space-time experimental digital photography
Guitar Players at a Local Jam
dancers at a rave concert, space-time experimental digital photography
Dancers at a Rave Concert
self portraits while riding in an automobile, space-time experimental digital photography
Self Portraits While Driving

As Einstein discovered over 100 years ago, we live in a space-time universe. He should have had a strategic public relations professional to adequately get the message out. While some people have trouble understanding this concept, it is, nevertheless, quite simply a fact of life. Space and time are bound together -- and as an artist this can be a source of new and striking imagery.

As I wrote in my book on Experimental Digital Photography:
Photography and Time: Photography may be the visual art best suited to creating still images of subjects in time. This is because a photograph is made by recording an object (via the lens) over time (by setting the shutter speed). Therefore a photographic exposure is a combination of space and time, a recording of space-time.

The artist "lives at a time of great scientific and technological breakthroughs. These discoveries uncover new frontiers of perception and offer new representations of the world. Access to what was until then invisible becomes possible." Paul Klee, painter.

Also from my book:
Yet beside the technical ability of digital cameras to record motion, there are other compelling reasons for this kind photography – because the world is always in motion. Children, traffic, airplanes, football players, dogs in the park, the family at the dinner table, dancers, people who gesture when they talk, trees in the wind – these and thousands of other things move. In fact the real world is in motion all of the time. As a doctor once explained, if a person is alive, they are moving and – he added – a complete lack of movement is a sign of death! So a photography that can capture and convey a sense of the pulse of life, the daily throbbing that life is composed of, can be powerful. Digital photography is particularly capable of recording movement as people and objects (such as cars or trains) in motion can create a dramatic streaking effect not unlike a painter's brush that is swept across a canvas. With bright colors, the effect can be quite painterly.

So I can record motion with digital photography by using a slow shutter speed which varies considerably depending on the subject movement such as a child playing or a horse galloping. This kind of photography will record the movement of a rodeo rider, or guitar player or myself driving or dancers at a rave concert as streaked or blurred image but with a very different feeling from the traditional crisp sharp photographs we are all used to.

While this capability was possible with film photography it was impractical due to the lack of immediate feedback which this kind of photography requires. Also film photography was very expensive, especially when it came to experimenting as experimental photography requires hundreds or thousands of trial and error shots. And film based photography also required a lot of work in the darkroom.

Now all this is changed with the digital camera. In the past you needed an online MBA in finance to sort out the expenses involved with experimental photography. The LCD monitor gives immediate feedback, the cost is negligible, and the labor involved is reduced considerably via digital darkroom software (I only use the traditional darkroom adjustments -- and do not add computer graphics or special effects).

"...the most powerful methods of human thought are those that help us find new kinds of representations." Dr. Marvin Minsky, cognitive scientist, The Future Merging of Science, Art, and Psychology.

In most exhibits I start the show with recognizable imagery of rodeo riders or guitar players or dancers or self portraits. But as you go further into the exhibit, I show more distorted images that are still a result of slow-shutter speed photography (and not software or computer graphics).
In other words the first photographs in an online gallery are reasonably clear (yet blurry, or course, due to the deliberate sense of movement I wanted to record) while the later ones in the exhibit tend to be more abstract and more distorted. I did this deliberately to show how very different pictures can occur in the same situation and with the same lighting, as the amount of distortion depends on the movement of the subjects along with my control of camera movement.

Read more about experimenting with digital photography
Read about my first digital photography experiments which I called 'Painting With Light'. These essays about 'Painting With Light' explain in detail how I started pushing the boundaries of traditional photography with the new power of the digital camera.

You might also want to read my essays:
== A Touch Of The Savage:an essay about creativity in digital photography, contemporary art and experimentation

I have included technical information about each set of photographs in an online gallery. People who want more to know more about my camera settings and methods should go to the main page for each exhibit, the page with the thumbnails, and look for the paragraph on technical information.
However, I can make some general comments about all of these space-time exhibits. All of the digital photos were taken using a slow shutter speed which varied considerably depending on the subject movement, from 1/2 second to over 20 seconds. All of these shots were taken handheld. I find that handholding gives me the most flexibility and the ability to respond rapidly to a changing situation. The camera I am using now is an Olympus 500 UZ. All pictures were taken with available light, with a few exceptions in the guitar players gallery where I mixed flash with available light and a slow exposure. The ISO varied from 50 - 3200, depending on the available light and the best shutter speed for this kind of imagery.

If you download a photo, you can often (but not always) read the EXIF data that will give you particulars about a specific experimental picture.

Painting With Light
See hundreds more experimental photos created with digital photography since 2003

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on the Internet.
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Copyright 2010 by Richard deGaris Doble
All rights reserved.