Stillness Speaks

stationary time

Stationary Time by Mu Zhen.

Magical – I thought it was created in Photoshop to begin with but the author says it is real and a look through their stunning portfolio of similar shots corroborates this. It is a night fisherman (Guilin, China) with two birds perched on his boat. Beautiful shot – taken with a relatively cheap Sony digital camera too (less than £600 in the UK). I love the deep, midnight blues and the crystal clear reflection.

The starlight effect on the lamp is a ‘natural’ occurence. It happens when you ‘stop’ a lens down to a small aperture (in this case f10) to get a greater depth of field – i.e. to make sure both foreground and background is sharply in focus. The flip-side of stopping a lens down is that it increases the exposure time because the light is passing through a smaller aperture. This shot, for example, took 8 seconds. There is amazingly little movement for such a long exposure time (you would expect man, birds and boat to move during an 8 second timeframe). Presumably, this is why the author named the photo ‘Stationary Time’.

For more on the physics of lens apertures, see this wiki entry.

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