Frame…Fixing Camera Time: Shutter/Aperture

   Aperture and shutter are the gate keepers of light entering the camera. These regulators of light and time allow the photographer to choose what compositional design elements define the content of the photograph.
For Henri Cartier-Bresson the ”decisive moment” was when the flux (shutter) of changing forms and patterns was sensed to have achieved balance, clarity, and order, or, a picture.

Los Angeles River Basin, Looking North Toward Los Angeles, 2011

   The shutter allows the possibility of subject movement in the picture plane. With too short a duration of exposure, the subject appears fossilized and dead. Too much time from the shutter, and the evidence of subject evaporates into the luminiferous ether of a photographer’s memory.

   The amount of movement or blur in a photograph is regulated by the direction the subject was moving in the frame. If the subject is moving horizontally across the frame the subject blur increases. When the subject approaches the camera from the center of the frame the blur is reduced for the same given shutter speed.
The camera is a democratic eye asking the photographer to decide content, while shutter and aperture define the flux and depth of the present.

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