What's Behind the Darkness?

November’s photo, "Inbound Over South," is a time-lapse image, in which the shutter stays open longer than usual. It's a technique that records the passage of time in a single image. In this case, I left the shutter open for over 30 seconds. The result was these interesting streaks of light created by airplanes as they descended toward O’Hare over Evanston’s South Blvd. Beach.

I love to capture time-lapse images, especially at night, because they show what goes on behind a cloak of darkness. Taken at a normal shutter speed, this picture would be almost entirely black. The dots of light from the planes would be swallowed up in the darkness.

But with time-lapse, the moving planes and their flight paths reveal themselves. The shore becomes visible, and the gentle crashing waves blend into each other to form a soft white line parallel to the beach. The clouds soften with their relatively slow movement across the sky, and the immoveable groin becomes lit and in perfect focus.

The next time you're out in the dark, stop to consider what you're not seeing, and what's happening with the passage of time.

Thanks for reading!