As the old adage would go: Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. I had a physics professor who once argued against that possibility. But his fundamental flaw was to believe that everything was measurable. It’s not. In art – as with dreams and ideas – anything is truly possible. Many believe photography doesn’t have the flexibility of other mediums because it is based in the physical world and must therefore adhere to the rules of physics. But they have not taken into consideration the component of time, which allows photographers to bend the rules – or more specifically, use the rules to our advantage. In her photo, Falling Dream, photographer Francisca Grim has created a seemingly impossible image. Is it skilled editing? Or is it the component of time in action?
At first, I was confused as to how Francisca created this photograph. My initial thought was that this is a simple jump shot – a higher speed shot to freeze a subject in mid flight, making it look like it’s hovering there. But if the exif data reveals she took the shot at 1/13, which wouldn’t be fast enough to freeze her in the air. So next, I would look for flash data to see if a flash was fired or detected. A flash might freeze the subject regardless of the shutter speed, but exif data again doesn’t seem to indicate the presence of a flash. Then I remembered my physics professor who wanted to measure everything. I realized that my own rigid thinking was holding me back from understanding the image before me. I neglected to consider the time it took for Francisca to create this image.
I believe this is a composite image of at least two photos (though I have not confirmed this with Francisca). The first photo is of the scene minus the girl. This would explain the exif data, which is only telling me about this first photo. The second photo features the girl who could very well be sitting on something, hanging from something or otherwise. Then using a photo editor, one could superimpose the second photo on top of the first and mask out that something so that it won’t show up in the finished shot. Now again, I’m not sure if this is exactly how she did it, but in either case she is taking advantage of time to create her final vision. With the added component of time, even photography has no limits. The results are plainly stunning, surreal and a little haunting. After all, it’s not often that we see people climbing up the walls.
Francisca Grim is an experimental photographer working across a number of photography genres. To view more of her work, you can browse her photostream and/or follow Francisca on Flickr.