Long Exposure Portraits comparison of different poses

Posted on September 18, 2012


I have been experimenting further with this idea. I have been examining the effect that long exposures have by making a series of self portraits. These portraits show a range of expressions which I have called stare, reflect, smile and read. For each, I kept the framing the same and midway through each long exposure portrait I changed my position, whilst maintaining the same gaze. The idea behind this was to capture two portraits overlaid in order to see if my expression remained the same. In other words whether long exposures would result in broadly the same expression on different occasions. For each of the portraits the exposure lasted for 40 seconds in total (20 seconds for each position). The long exposures were made with a pinhole lens f/140.

In order to compare these portraits with similar ones made with ‘normal’ short duration I repeated the exercise. This time I made two portraits for each expression, one a few seconds after the other, relaxing my face in between. I then superimposed the pairs to create images similar to the first set. I also blurred the ‘normal’ duration images a little so that they were more like the long exposures in terms of sharpness, contrast etc.

When I look at these portraits it seems to me that my expressions do not change much within each double portrait. However, in the long exposure ‘reflect’ and ‘stare’ portraits I seem somewhat sorrowful. In the ‘smile’ portrait with long exposure my expression looks forced. In the ‘read’ portrait where I am engaged with something I can focus on and I am not addressing the camera my expression seems similar throughout. I need to look at these again in a few days to see if I have the same impression.

The following pairs of  images show how the two sets compare. The image on the left in each case is the long exposure.