How can we think the difference between the way in which the still and the moving image represent ideas about time? Does it still make sense to distinguish between the two?

Distinction between still image and moving image


‘You cannot hang an event on the wall; only a picture’ states the famous quote from Mary McCarthy. This statement implies that there are elaborate differences between still and motion images. It is clear that still images and motion images represent the concept of time in different ways, in addition to being differently related to how the human memory processes these images and events through time. Despite the similarities between these two mediums, many authors and scholars have come up with theories that try to explain the differences between still and motion images. However, time has led to the development of great similarities when it comes to photography and film production, perception and dissemination. Technology has thinned the line between photography and video, making them look like one and the same thing. Overall, there is a difference between still pictures and motion images even with technology trying to blur the lines between the differences. History of Photography The word cinema comes from a Greek term ‘kinema’ meaning the geometry of motion. Cinema provides the illusion of movement and it came about way after the introduction of photography. Past filmmakers like Sergei Eisenstein depended on photographs to make their films (Drucker, Johanna 24). This shows that photography is an integral part in the making of motion images. To begin with there are several main differences between photography and motion imaging. The first difference lies in the size of vocabulary. According to Christian Metz, ‘still images have no fixed durations or temporal size; the spectator is the master of the look, whereas in cinema the filmmaker decides the timing of the cinematic lexis.’ This statement is quite true since most photographs capture the moment in its actual context. However, filmmakers set predetermined locations and time when it comes to filmmaking hence that context is not real but . Second, motion pictures have a relation with fiction and public domains while photographs probe for private and real confinements. People treat their memories captured in still form as private property. Pierre asserts that still images are possessions people keep for themselves on the other hand; motion images are not private hence shared with other people. Individuals treat motion images as art for public domain more so for entertainment purposes. It is also important to note that films brings past events to the present while photographs show an image of what existed but no longer does. A concept that Roland Barthes terms as the ‘that has been’ event. The final difference is in the material composition of still images and that of motion image. Motion images require additional materials if they are to represent the ‘reality’ they try to convey. Film images need to multiply continuously to create the illusion of movement and time. The images associated with cinemas have the ability to construct themselves in space as a stream of temporality showing that nothing is permanent. Several scholars show that motion pictures need five orders of movement and multiplicity and they’re auditory of spoken word and sound effects and the addition of musical sounds. This differs to photography that only demands for two guidelines of insight that include stillness and silence. Definition of Photography and Film Photography as defined by (De Duve, Thierry 115) has only two dimensions either as an event or as a static portrait that has little or no meaning. Still images do not portray a continuous life, but a small frozen portion of life. A still image is shallow when it comes to expressing life since it only focuses on the immediate action rather than the context of the action. There are considerable arguments about the similarity and differences in photography and motion images since the 18-century. According to (De Duve 118) scholars during the 18-century believed that motion and still images have a common goal of producing art for the audience. On the other hand,Jameson (Jameson 696) suggests that Newhall held a different idea when it came to these two concepts. Newhall asserted that still image and motion images were entirely different entities. Thus, they are not comparable in any way. He added that motion images have the time dimension that still images lack. Since the still images freeze time whiles, the motion images have the ability to create their own time. Photographs fail to portray the reality of events since they act on a singular frozen moment of time (BurBridge 126). This total opposite to motion images acts on a series of continuous images of an event thus creating the reality of time. Theory of Redemption and Physical Reality Kracauer in his theory of redemption of physical reality describes photography as a medium that captures nature in its raw state; it is not a staged reality, and endless (Green David 24). However, several scholars differ with Kracauer’s point of]]>

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