We are enslaved in so many ways to measure time, aren’t we? Clocks and calendars, stopwatches and timers. How much time we allot to our loved ones each day or week. Work time versus play time. Down time. Time, time, time. It is an imaginary distinction that we created, then wrapped ourselves so thoroughly in it, yet it is also a very finite resource. How many days do you have in your life? We don’t know and won’t know until the end, but imaginary number or not, it is not an infinite number.
Even though we are the ones that invest time with meaning, it is still of immense value. Seconds mean something, minutes do too. Hours, days, weeks, months. Sometimes I measure time by photographic exposure. Those are some of my favourite units to measure time by, in fact. This exposure is 2 minutes for example. How many of those can I do in a given window. I only had so much time , only so many 2 minute exposures. The risk then is to worry about all the time that is lost or not used, to worry about the 2 minute exposures I might not be able to make. But this way of looking at things is an eternal loss. There will always be time you wish you had. We think we are drowning in a glut of time, we have time to spare, to waste or throw out. Considering the value of that time is set individually, this may very well be true but I hope not.
Exposures like this make me think more about time, they make me more aware of its ebb and flow. I only made one of these exposures. Two minutes was all I was willing to give this scene before moving on to other exposures. That doesn’t demonstrate a lack of value on my part though, the mere fact that I stopped here for a couple of minutes speaks against that notion. This two minute stretch was quite valuable to me and that is why I only made one image, I just made sure to make my execution of that image mirror the value of the time spent in order to expose it. I could go on about time, but I fear I have taken up enough of yours just reading thus far. I wanted to share a bit of what goes through my head during the making of such photos and how they help me measure time in a slightly different fashion and stay aware of its constant forward flow.
So only by going all the way to the end will you know if something will bring you peace.