Film Photography, Long Exposure and Walter Benjamin

The longest ever exposure?


Following on from my last blog post which looked at long exposure photography and the writings of Walter Benjamin, I would like to share the work of Michael Wesely, a German photographer who makes incredible exposures which last up to 3 years! His photographs reveal the developments of Berlin, a city which has changed dramatically over the past decades. In just one of Wesely's photographs he shows the destruction of the old and construction of the new, all within a single frame and captured on one piece of photographic film. Michael Wesely has been using his non-digital, film photography process since the 1990's using mostly black and white through to recent years when he has also used colour. From 2001 - 2004 he documented the demolition and reconstruction of Moma (The Museum of Modern Art) in New York.

Changing position of the sun recorded on film


Wesely's photographs are far removed from the modern snap-shot and could be said to reinforce Walter Benjamin's notion of 'aura'. They reveal the transitory nature of urban construction, an absence of human life (since we move too much to register on the film!) and at the same time reveal the movement of the earth over the year(s) through the light lines which record the different positions of the sun throughout the seasons.

More about the interesting work by Michael Wesely can be found here:


long exposure film photography    long exposure film photography

Download two photography essays by Walter Benjamin...


 Walter Benjamin on Photography

From feedback from my last post, many people were interested to know more about Walter Benjamin so I have posted his two essays on photography for download here. Click this link to download the essays (no registration required)