Portrait photography is strongly influenced by images from the mid to late 1800s. Formal tableaus. Intense stares. Canvas backdrops. All artifacts of traditions from painting translated with nascent technology that did not have the sensitivity to light needed to freeze movement. Prolonged stillness (enforced with metal braces and solid chairs) was required for sharpness. While we no longer have such limitations, something has been lost as we abandon old technology for new.
But what if we governed the extraordinary speed of digital sensors and forced them to operate at a slower pace? What if movement and sharpness could co-exist? What if recording the passage of time became an essential element of a portrait?
In “Slow Glass” Lerman assembles portraits from thousands of thin sharp lines recorded over time.
When the world is slowly recorded in paper-thin slices, movement leaves traces, motion becomes sharply drawn instead of blurred, and, as the subject struggles for stillness or deliberately moves, intent becomes visible. This work is about fluid interplay, not capturing a decisive moment. As each image is slowly built across the computer screen, neither the photographer nor the subject is completely in control. Every image is an act of discovery.