Forward Motion Picture

Forward Motion Picture

I’m at the DMV this morning… Surrounded by bureaucracy dreamed up by grad school drop outs and handed out by high school rejects. I hate this place with the passion of a man obsessed. If there is a hell, this is it. I’m sure of it.

In any case, I was sitting here trying to think of something to post and remembered a thread from 2007 that I’ve always loved. It starts with a question:

Why do cars at speed appear to be leaning forward in many vintage black and white photographs?

And ends with an answer:

Lets assume we have our own photographer. We will call him Raoul. He has a great old Leica M3 that was made in 1953 and features a horizontal shutter. Today, he’s at Bonneville and ready to shoot some high speed action. He sets up his camera on a tripod, and readies himself as ole number six comes barreling down the salt.

Just as the car enters his viewfinder, he fires the shutter button. In turn, this opens the shutter and exposes the film to light. However, the shutter doesn’t flip up as quickly as the car is traveling through the frame. As a result, the bottom of the car is exposed on the film before the the top of the car. In effect, this is what gives the appearance of motion on film.

Cool right? Here’s the original post where people smarter than me explain it all.


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