On "Long Photographs" - a compilation.

Following up on recent BB posts about Flickr's new video feature, photograblogger Clayton James Cubitt has been thinking and linking about "long photographs," too, and he's posted a roundup of some favorite references here.


  1. Okay, so maybe there were some amazing examples of long photographs in there somewhere, but all I saw was an shining example of what already annoys the beejesus out of me on Flickr. The ubiquitous
    365 self portrait projects that inevitably devolve into self indulgent stages of pouting, naughty, or multiplicity that is beyond boring. Leave the videos to YouTube and keep Flickr for the photographers please!

  2. Awesome that this genre is being identified and celebrated. I have always called this type of video a “moving still”.

  3. Lovely. Can’t help smiling. Not sure about the irritating flashes of colour from other images though.

  4. Ok, just for the record – that IS the video for “round & round” (the new order song that is playing) and that video is somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 years old. So before you poo-poo it as some kind of me-too youtube fodder, give it the props it deserves as the groundbreaking (really) VERY tongue in cheek (REALLY) work of art that it is. Here is another awesome, phenomenal, genre twisting N/O tongue in cheek video for “Touched by the hand of God” (youtube link)

  5. I think some of the best moving images that belong in the “long photographs” category are from pretty much any of the old Andre Tarkovsky films. Especially Stalker or Mirrors, or that amazing weightless love scene from Solaris.

  6. Thanks for the background, chrisfrelin.

    This video is a perfect example to me of the incredible potential of “long photographs,” and also validation of Flickr’s decision to cap the video duration at 90 seconds. The above video was beautiful, but may have had even more impact trimmed down to 60 or 90 seconds (its function as a music video notwithstanding).


    It’s interesting that you simultaneously decry the video option on Flickr as leading to its demise, yet you also complain about all the “self indulgent” and “beyond boring” photos that are already there.

    Flickr has been and will continue to be an open forum for people (including captial-A Artists, capital-P Photographers and Joe Schmo who got a $30 camera for Christmas) to post their photos. You’re likely to find works that move you and works that you loathe, and everything in between.

    To me, that’s something to be celebrated.

  7. Radioguy,

    I agree that the beauty of Flickr is the mundane in and among the amazing. My point being that video may only make the mundane outweigh the amazing, as the video above appeared to me. YouTube and others already cover video in the same spectrum, perhaps heavily outweighed with the mundane. I don’t see enough of a delineation for long photographs to make the case that they should be on Flickr.

  8. Following up on my own comment above…

    Interestingly, though, much of the point of the Warhol/Ono/Acconci pieces is their sheer length, which is pretty much the opposite of Flickr’s 90 second limit.

    I’d guess, Radioguy, that while you do get something after 90 seconds, that the full “getting” of the pieces I’m thinking about happens after you have passed through the point of feeling done with them.

    Perhaps Flickr could have capped the total number of keyframes instead, making it possible to have very long videos — but only if very little happened in them. :)

  9. Perhaps Flickr could have capped the total number of keyframes instead, making it possible to have very long videos — but only if very little happened in them.

    That’s actually a brilliant idea! The techie in me is trying to dream up some algorithm for “activity” — related to keyframes, but decoupled from video codec issues.

    I’m gonna have to think about that one. Perhaps I’ll whip up a prototype if my free time allows.

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