Brian's Photo Blog — Article 427
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Fun With Photo Sequences
Monday 18 May 2015   —   Category: Shooting
After I had taken some pictures of a Great Egret landing on Oso Flaco Lake around the beginning of 2012, I realized that the resulting series of images would be much more interesting if presented together, rather than spread across numerous in­di­vid­u­al pages. Thus was born my first photo sequence on this Web site, a small version of which is shown to the right.

As usual with all of my articles, you can click on the pictures on this page to see larger versions. Also, if the sequence of images are not cycling through, make sure you have Javascript enabled in your browser.

Because I have created this Web site myself from scratch, it wasn’t very hard to add the ability to display a sequence of photos in the same image area. But after the Egret shots, I have not done much with this capability until recently. The only other sequence before 2015 was a series of 18 photos showing ocean water filling up Thor’s Well at Cape Perpetua.

My interest in sequences was reawakened earlier this year when I was testing my new Panasonic ZS50 camera by taking pictures at the bird feeder in my backyard. The resulting Bird Feeder 2015 album contains four different sequences, including an en­ter­tain­ing 24-image series.

As a result of my numerous photo outings to Portland over the past couple of months, new sequences are popping up in my albums like mushrooms! In just the last month I have created nine! Like most of the previous sequences, many of these communicate motion in the subject being photographed, like a bridge being raised or aerial tram cars moving along their path.

However, I have also been ex­per­i­ment­ing with some different types of se­quenc­es which demonstrate dynamics other than motion. One interesting var­i­a­tion illustrates differences in focus by using a shallow depth of field.

During last month’s walk along the East­bank Esplanade, I was standing on a grat­ing raised about 10 feet above the ground. I had the idea to com­mu­ni­cate that difference in elevation by tak­ing one photo focused on my feet, and another focused on the ground below.

You can see the results of my ex­per­i­ment to the right. I’ve created two other Port­land sequences which play with focus, which you can view here and here.

Up until now, all of these sequences have consisted of different photos presented together in a series. But just this month I have created my first sequence of a single picture processed a few different ways, as shown to the right. You can read all the details in yesterday’s article, Daylight, Twilight, Moonlight.

You may be wondering why I just don’t make videos of certain scenes instead of putting together these series of photographs — at least when the sequence illustrates motion, as in the Egret example above. After all, that is what video — which is simply a sequence of images shown in rapid succession — is for. Why take still images of a moving object when a video would capture that movement more effectively and accurately?

There are a number of reasons why I almost always take pic­tures instead of video:
  • The main reason is that I don’t plan these shots ahead of time; they happen on the spur of the moment. In my ea­ger­ness and haste to photograph the moving object, it does not even enter my mind that my camera is also capable of shoot­ing video!
  • Because these are unplanned shots, it often only occurs to me to put the resulting images together into a sequence once I am back home processing the photos, not when I am actually taking them.
  • I think my seven-image sequence of the Egret landing in the water has more artistic and dramatic appeal than a run-​of-​the-​mill, 10-second video clip of the same event.
  • Before I had rediscovered my passion for photography nearly ten years ago — see Brian’s Photographic Jour­ney, Part 4 — I was very much into shooting video, with some fairly high-end equipment, for a season of my life. But now that season is over, and I am almost exclusively a photographer rather than a videographer.

    It may seem like a silly distinction to make, but having operated ex­ten­sive­ly in both realms, I can testify that there is a very different mentality be­tween the two. There are meth­od­ol­o­gies and techniques which are unique to each medium. I am firmly fixed in the photographic mindset, and it is not very easy for me to suddenly switch over to a video mindset. Nor do I have the desire to do so.
  • This is a photographic Web site, dis­play­ing, at this point in time, 5,128 pictures in 180 albums. I really have no intention or desire to turn it into a video Web site as well. For those of you who love video, you can hang out on YouTube. As for me, I’m go­ing to stick to photography!
The sixteen sequences I have created are contained in eight different albums, spread over a period of four years, which makes them hard to find. So I have gathered them, and any future sequences I may create, into a new virtual ‘super-album’ called Photo Sequences (All Years). Enjoy!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 427
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