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Two days ago I took a few photographs at a fish pond next to Petach Tikva Museum of Art. There were a number of Tilapia fish swimming at the pond. To properly capture their behavior and motion I used a tripod and a sequence of a few shots for each framing. Then, I blended each sequence in Photoshop to make a single image. One can easily tell the number of shots used in each frame by simply counting the dots.

Each of the three images in this post show an interrupted time slice of about 2-4 seconds. Even if I used a neutral density filter, the slice of time made in a single shot in daylight would have been a bit shorter, but mostly – the effect of movement would have been quite different. The method of photography I used kept most of the fish sharply visible, including the moving ones, while maintaining a sense of motion that is usually created by a long exposure shot.

Is this a true representation of reality?

My first response to this persistent question of mine is: Who cares?

However, this answer is mostly good for avoiding the issue, and the issue is that reality is very tricky. We use our senses to capture glimpses of reality to make sense of the world. Yet, we often miss objects that pass by too slowly or too quickly for us to see, or we do not register most of the facts that we do see. Neither a slow shutter speed nor the series of quick interrupted shots used here are similar to the way we see movement. Yet, we can look at certain still images and make a pretty good guess of what reality was in those 2 to 4 seconds, while filling the gaps in our mind.

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