Spencer Dykstra Photography | Time and Progress

Time and Progress

August 14, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

August 14, 2015




It is amazing how fast time rolls by. Recently I have not had the energy to craft a well written blog post, due to many factors, not least of which is a crazy work schedule. I have been shooting a lot recently, focusing on Lassen Volcanic National Park, and the surrounding areas. Part of that focus is I will be again attending the Lassen Art & Wine Festival on Sept 26, 2015. It is a great event at the Southwest Visitor Center. Everyone is invited.


Time is such a fleeting thing; it is interesting to me that as an artist, I spend a relatively short period of my life considering time as a part of the process. As a photographer, time is an integral part of what I do. It does not matter how much I have spent waiting, searching or creating an image; ultimately, the moment of capture is exceedingly insignificant. The image created in fractions of a second represents all of the preceding time spent to achieve the correct situation. The image below represents many hours of creation, starting with the notion of wanting to create an image of Lassen Peak with strong leading lines and storm clouds. This idea has been rolling around my mind for many years, and it hasn't ever quite come together. I then had to observe and wait for the correct conditions, drive to multiple locations, and finally search for the correct combination of elements.


Summer StormSummer Storm


In all this process was approximately 5 hours. I realize that I have posted this image previously, but I think the story is worth posting it again.


The capture of this image took all of 1/125th of a second. An obscenely small amount of time for the action of the camera to record the information of this image relative to the amount of time it took to conceptualize and capture. The image is not complete at this point however; it still needs post capture processing. The fact that it is viewable on a screen means post-processing was completed. For this image that was approximately an hour, including upload, adjustment, exportation and finally posting.


To me this is quite astounding, especially accounting for the numerous failed attempts to create this image. There is nothing easy about the creation of art, whether it is a painting, a musical orchestration, or a photograph. Too many people take this for granted; considering these hours of individual lives as consumable and expendable. Next time there is a moment when considering a work of art, take a minute and try a brain exercise. Try to imagine all the time it would have taken to fully realize the piece; perhaps then it will develop a new meaning.




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