We all love that special image, the instant frozen in time, preserved for ever. But have you ever thought what an instant in time might be or what might constitute the memory of such an event. What is a moment? Can a still image encapsulate an event that may say take a few seconds?
Take a landscape scene, rolling hills, endless skies – might even be a setting sun over the sea – it doesn’t matter. Just think what it is that makes that experience. Is it the way the water glistens, is it the way the colour slowly changes as the sun moves. Is it the way the trees shimmer as the leaves move in the wind?
Take a portrait. How much more would you appreciate a smile if you could see the face before. How much more of the personality could you capture if you could see the slight often habitual involuntary movements that everyone has.
Ok I hear you say so what, that's what movies are for and yes there are many great examples of these moments I could site – the 1980s film Koyaanisqatsi maybe, countless stock footage of single situations, and even the paintings in Harry Potter films but I’m talking about something more subtle.
Something caught my eye last week and it was a pure case of coincidence. That week I was making a Monet painting move, snow fell, birds hopped and in the end we all had a ‘Merry Christmas’ when I stumbled across the cover of the New Yorker Magazine where in a bold move they put an animated giff on the cover. It’s a rather graphic representation of the view from inside a NY cab in the rain. ( Although personally preferred the last of the designs shown) Whether its simplicity is be down to technical restrictions or art direction it doesn’t matter, it‘s still a nice example of a desire not only to push what is acceptable but to showcase what is possible.
Why go to that effort? Well why not. We have ability to do so much with our digital media than we did 10, 5 or even 2 years ago – data rates and the technology behind the code has advanced well beyond the point where this can be the norm. So why not use these developments to allow for a richer experience and break free from what has been a historical restriction of print and maybe make a moment last a few seconds.