An Interview with Acclaimed Photographer Tim Temple, Inventor of the Light Compression Technique
Tim Temple, an award-winning photographer and DashBurst user, has earned acclaim by capturing images of travel, nature and cities, often in large-scale panoramic views. As Temple explains in an email to DashBurst, his love for photography blossomed when he was a child:
My father foolishly let me shoot with his nice camera, though will say I never actually broke anything. I remember taking my first portrait at around age 5, the subject being my parents standing in the back yard.
Over the years I would encounter images that I found amazing, and would wonder, ‘How did they do that?’ As things progressed I found a better question for me would become, ‘How can [I] also do a shot on that level?’ and then instead of just wondering to go figure it out. There’s been a lot of fun on that ongoing journey of discovery, but also a lot of work and failures as well.
You can see in the image “Vegas Sundown” above a technique that Temple actually invented. Called Light Compression (a trademarked name), it involves combining an entire day’s light into a single frame. By strategically blending several exposures, Temple’s Light Compression creates an image that moves from the early hours of the day on one side of the frame to the evening on the other. Temple told DashBurst of his fascination with long exposures, which he says “create a wonderful dreamy quality.” He adds, however:
The longer the exposure the more any moving object in the shot will blur. Sometimes that’s an interesting effect, but I began to wonder if there was a way to do a very long (many hours) exposure while preserving moving objects in place. Brainstorming and experimentation resulted in developing a technique by which hundreds of individual frames are ‘compressed’ together in post production, thus delivering the sought after effect of showing the passage of a span of time moving from one side of the finished frame to the other, which was ultimately trademarked as Light Compression®.
Temple travels the globe, from the North Pole to Antarctica, from China and India to Eastern Europe and the Americas, searching for that next spectacular image. He captures magnificent photos of nature from a polar bear and her cubs in the Arctic to the desert canyons of Arizona.
Ice Bears by Tim Temple
Travel, according to Temple, not only puts you where you need to be to get the shot you’re after, it presents you with “opportunities to discover shots you had no idea existed.” He uses the photo above as an example:
That was the culmination of many frames being shot over the course of several hours, as we tracked the family via a small rubber boat… I certainly had no idea that I’d be so close to a beautiful polar bear and her cubs when setting out on that particular sojourn.
Being able to travel and go after a great image is certainly a rush. I do a fair amount of international travel to that end (Ice Bears being an example of that) but have also found that there can be wonderful discoveries found within driving distance of home. I’m often asked about film vs. digital and I’m firmly in the digital camp for several reasons, among which is that you can be shooting always, and this increases the chance of being there for that one magic moment.