The Art of Time

Breathtaking Photography Series Uses Timelapse Technique to Achieve Unique Results Art and photography often dovetail nicely, to the point of being indistinct at times. But rarely does photography achieve the sort of free-flowing, brush-like effects that Matt Molloy imbues his incredible Time Stack photographs with. “My time stack series is a lot like a digital version of what the impressionist painters where trying to achieve in the 19th-century,” says Matt. “Now that we have digital cameras, computers with great programs for post processing, and programs to do just about anything, I can pretty easily and accurately record how the light changes as the earth rotates, the movements of the scene, and how they affect the environment over a long period of time. With the time stacking technique, I compress all this recorded information into one static image.” 1 2 3 The results are no short of spectacular. Already lush landscapes are given a sense of movement. Colours blur deliciously into one another, like an artist experimenting on their palette. The compressed changes in light give many of the scenes a sort of ghostly allure. All in all, Matt’s images transmute everyday vistas and into something other-worldly. We were desperate to learn more: The Plus: The Time Stack series has such a painterly effect, do you have an art background? Matt Molloy: I’ve been drawing ever since I got a hold of some crayons, paper or no paper! Art was always my favourite class in school, which led me to take Graphic Design in college. I love all kinds of art, one of the more recent being land art – making art out of your natural surroundings. Though I’ve only experimented with that a little. 4 TP: What was the most memorable location from the series? MM: The series is ongoing, so I can only hope the most memorable location is yet to come, but one that comes to mind was close to home. Not so much for the location (a cow field with a small pond and a few trees) but for the amazing show nature put on above me. It was the best thunderstorm I’ve ever seen with my own eyes. I was looking up in awe at the webs of electricity spreading across the sky. 7 TP: It must be very painstaking, do you ever get frustrated? MM: It can be, but it’s usually when I’m shooting. I’ve been swarmed by mosquitoes, attacked by sand fleas, I’ve been closer than I wanted to coyotes. I’ve hiked too far and thought I might not have the energy to get back, forgot fresh batteries, cards, other accessories that would’ve been handy. Nature can put up a good fight at times too. Think of any kind of weather and I’ve probably been stuck in it, or lost a good timeslapse to a fogged up or frosted over lens, but the thing that happens most often and possibly frustrates me the most is being late for a great sunset. 5 TP: What are you currently working on? MM: I’ve recently started doing “time slice” photography but I’ve been working on a video form of it. Like time stacks, they are made from multiple photos, only with time slicing, you take a small slice from each photo, and put them all together to create one image that shows a large chunk of time. I’m really excited to share it, because time slicing creates some interesting effects, and they’re even more weird and wonderful in motion. 6 8 9 10 11 12