The brief for this exercise was to use a fast shutter speed to ‘try to isolate a frozen moment in time in a moving subject’ and to ‘try to find the beauty in a fragment of time’.
I positioned my subject in an area of maximum light. This was early evening and the light was not bright. I chose my 50mm fixed lens for its wide maximum aperture of f1.8 because I wanted a speed of at least 1/1000 and I wanted to isolate my subject from the background. Even at this aperture, the light was such that I needed to put my ISO up to 1000. I have never used such a high ISO and was interested to see the impact on my images.
I tried different locations in my kitchen, and an additional bright light but eventually decided on a position as near as possible to an outdoor light source and I relied on this and a normal ceiling light.
I used continuous drive mode which, on my camera, allows up to 11 frames per second, and used manual focus to try to ensure my subject would be sharp despite the wide aperture. This was difficult because I had to estimate the position of the falling egg based on my hope that it would fall centrally within the bowl.
My shots were still a little dark and I adjusted the raw image slightly in photoshop, adding a bit of clarity and saturation, though my editing was minimal. I was pleased with my camera’s performance at high ISO.
I think my images capture a fragment of time perhaps rarely seen by the human eye, and one that is quite beautiful. Overall I was pleased with my attempt.
John Szarkowski believed that, rather than capturing movement, a fast exposure fragments it, capturing a thin slice of time and creating something new (course notes p 60). I see my images as capturing a moving subject but not as showing movement. The viewer sees movement in the image because s/he knows that the egg was moving downwards from the shell to the bowl. I believe my images show a fragment of time and reveal something new since the speed of the action of breaking an egg is such that this image is rarely see by the human eye.
Thank you to my very patient husband. We had omelette for tea!