By Dave Sailer
The latest issue of Popular Photography has a story on the work of Finnish photographer Anssi Ranki, showing another of the possibilities of non-Photoshop, non-pasted-up, non-multiple-printed, i.e., in-camera "manipulation."
The best image I could find was "Red Clock," the one published in the magazine, though Ranki does have a website with this and some other, less accomplished work on it.
According to Popular Photography he uses a dark sheet of card stock with a slit cut into it. This, with long exposure times, allows him to move the slit between the subject and camera while manipulating the subject during the exposure.
So these are "straight" photographs, right? Representing actual reality, right? That is, exactly what the camera sees, right? Even if they look goofy, right?
From the site: "OneFrameCinema is more than a still photograph. It is a movie experience in one frame. To create this sensation, a still camera has been used much like a movie camera, recording the live action by one continuous exposure. There is absolutely no picture manipulation or 'photoshopping.'"
A Google search for "Anssi Ranki" also led to another website, "M5 Time," though I couldn't find his name anywhere there. These images are of cars, and seem more ordinary (I guess until one tries to duplicate them). The style is similar to some images on the first web site, but look more like advertising photos.
From M5 Time: "The M5 establishes a time concept of its own. The raw speed, combined with the unparalleled driving experience and luxurious comfort, make the longest of journeys seem to pass in the blink of an eye. In an effort to capture this sensation with a camera, the pictures in this gallery have been shot with exceptionally long exposure time. Moments that have elapsed several minutes have become compressed into a single instant. No digital post-processing or 'photoshopping' has been applied to achieve the illusion. A new dimension has been discovered. Welcome to M5 Time."
For what it's worth...
Featured Comment by Blake Andrews: "An interesting effect. From the description, it sounds like what he is doing is remarkably similar to the way swinglens panoramic cameras (Widelux & Noblex) work. Instead of a conventional shutter, these cameras make exposures through a vertical slit which rotates across the frame of film. When the rotation is slow enough and when the camera or elements in the photo are in motion during the exposure, you get similar effects to the Melting Clock photo. I've experimented a lot with this technique. You can see some examples here. Another good place to see this style is in Michael Ackerman's book End Time City.