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Slit-Scan and Streak Photography

Slit-scan photography basically encompasses a technique of capturing film that records the movement of events over time; to properly create these types of images we see on the big screen, the film is exposed as it moves through a slit-shaped aperture. In digital film, slices of the film are removed and linked consecutively into a new shot. A perfect example of this are the warp sequences from Star Trek. Here is an example below from The Next Generation:

Streak photography also works with long exposure, but instead gives off a 'smudging' effect. The cameras that are used for this technique have a slit built into them that limits the field of view to that exposed through the slit only. The image that is portrayed through the slit is then 'smeared' across the film. This usually ends up creating an image that doesn't resemble the original subject. The result are some very unusual photos:

Here, you can find a large catalogue of streak/slit-scan images by several different artists.

Finally, here is a really awesome example of moving slit-scan photography used on a webcam.

Slit-scan video test from Casey Pugh on Vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, your post has helped me better understand the slit scan photography process.