The Spraying Asian Elephant
In this age where everything is moving so fast, we got so used to the pace that we want things to be faster and more intense. Slow things bore most people, especially those that lives an urban lifestyle.
Always be on the go they say…
Given our conditioning towards fast pace action, I sometimes wonder if photography is not as attractive or popular as it used to be. I mean there are movies, films and Youtube, why look at stagnant images? Even now there is an attempt to animate the elements in a single photo called Plotagraph, it seems like the “still” frame is not enough to be interesting.
I believe that right now, in this limited attention world we live in, it takes a little education to appreciate the still frame. People who are interested in photography tends to appreciate it more, others might find the still picture common and boring. The difference is in understanding the purpose and the charm of a still frame.
Our lives are essentially a movie. Everything is always moving and constantly changing. It is stillness that is uncommon.
A typical movie runs at 24 frames per second, which means there are 24 still images contained within a second to make things move. Nobody has time to look at that one frame but we will gladly sit through a 2 hour movie.
In animation, the key poses for the characters are vital for good animation, everything else is just a filler in-between to smooth the transitions. Animators knew that the key pose is what gives the most impact and it is essential to get it right in a single frame.
The beauty of photography is in capturing the essentials of what you see in your life.
Everything is moving so fast, what stops you? What moments are worth remembering? What is that one frame that defines the experience?
It is one thing to look at an elephant spray and forget about it moments later. It is another to capture a moment when it is spraying. Time stops, and in that standstill, it feels like eternity. In some ways, you will never see an elephant halt like this in real-time and this allows you to fully appreciate the details of life caught in a frame.