Every four years, thousands of photographers compete to see who can take the best Olympic photos. The sound of rapid-fire shutters fill the arena while chimping photographers wait for perfect timing and angles. London-based artist Jason Shulman had a better idea when he decided to photograph the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He stayed home and took photos of the games on TV.
Using long exposure to capture athletes in motion, Shulman created a “blurred interpretation of their performance—skiing, skating, hockey matches, or what have you,” he says.
This method takes the stress of capturing the perfect moment of action, triumph, or defeat out of the equation and replaces it with colors and movement. Excited by the outcome, Shulman began photographing entire films this way.
In two years, he photographed hundreds of movies, like The Wizard of Oz, The Shining, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Rear Window to name a few.
Shulman, who typically works as a sculpture artist, still doesn’t know what to expect from the outcome of his Photographs of Films series.
“Normally when I start to make a sculpture I have an idea of what it’s going to look like, but what’s interesting about this project is the images are predetermined by the film itself and I didn’t make the film itself,” he says.
Sometimes, he’s able to see the director’s overall cinematic style in the finished photograph. Alfred Hitchcock, for example, leaned toward character-based films and in Shulman’s finished photograph for Rear Window, the outline of James Stewart sitting in his chair is mixed into the blurred colors of the image.
Shulman is tight-lipped about his methods, but we know he works out his home with a “special camera and a very large, high-resolution monitor.”
Photographs of Film is on display at The Cob Gallery in London from May 12-June 4, 2016.