Welcome to my website. These pages give an introduction to pendulum photography and to myself.
Pendulum photographs are not photographs of pendulums but of the patterns they create when swung. The method for achieving this is explained in this website. Examples of them can be found throughout this site.
I call them 'pendulum patterns', the most self explanatory term, although other names have been given to them such as physiograms, physiographs, harmonograms and harmonographs. Since these terms are not well known, for the time being I'll simply call them pendulum patterns until some consensus is reached on a name.
This website doesn't showcase my images but rather serves as a follow up for anyone who may have seen my work in a gallery and wish to know a little more about pendulum photography, my images or myself. (However, after several requests, I have added a sample gallery page). I have been exploring the still undeveloped art form of pendulum photography for many years now. In the 1980s I photographed cityscapes at sunset and potraitures.
Richard L Strong
Then I was fortunate enough to be at a 1993 photography conference at Amherst, Massachusetts where Richard L Strong gave a slide presentation entitled "Pendulums". I was moved. At last I had a subject that struck a chord deep in my soul. I came to love the simplicity and power of the pendulum. I trust it as a natural process and am fascinated by the majestic images it is capable of producing.
"I believe that the key to good photography
is interest on the part of the photographer,
not in photography but in his subject."
[quoted in New York Times, February 20, 1999]
By using long time exposures to photograph the patterns created by swinging pendulums, what would otherwise be unseeable is made seen. This is akin to astrophotography where long time exposures are used to reveal stars and galaxies otherwise undetectable through visual telescope observation and unknown to the astronomer. In both cases an element of reasoning, trust and hope can be involved.
A search for the sacred
I suspect there is something aesthetic to be created, something I've never seen before that is waiting to be made visible. So I keep the shutter of my camera open while pendulums weave their magic in the dark.
Likewise, the deep space astrophotographer may suspect there is an infinitude of galaxies in one sector of the dark night sky and keeps pointing his or her telescope there to give the film or CCD chip the maximum time exposure.
There can be a sense of the sacred in both actions.
Thankyou for visiting.
I wrote this website with you in mind.
I can be reached at email@example.com for feedback.
Best wishes, Usuff Omar.