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Unusually Long Exposure Photographs by Michael Wesely

For more than a decade, German photography artist Michael Wesely has been inventing and refining techniques for making photographs with unusually long exposures - some as long as three years. In 1997, armed with a self-built pinhole camera, he began using this unique approach to photography to explore major urban construction projects around Berlin.


In 2001, when the Museum of Modern Art in New York under went a three year renovation and expansion, they invited Michael Wesely to bring his unique vision to this significant change. Wesely setup his custom made cameras in four locations around the museum construction site and photographed the destruction and re-building of the MoMa until 2004 - leaving the shutter open for up to 34 months! The demolition and construction over the course of Wesely's long exposures gives the pictures a ghostlike appearance. The streaks of white bands in the background is the sun tracing the sky hundreds of times over the period.



The incredible thing about these pictures is that you can actually see the passing of time in a single shot. The older parts of the building that were exposed the longest appear darker and clearer. While the newer parts seem more ghost like. It took Michael more than 2 years to create this incredible time incapsulation at the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin (below).



The photo taken at the Leipziger Platz in Berlin (below) had an exposure time of 16 months.


Here is another image he created. It is an 18 month exposure of Palast der Republik, Berlin.


A 2 year 3 month exposure of the construction of Allianz Arena football stadium in Munich, Germany.


The exposure time of these flowers are not known. Could be a few weeks.


Michael Wesely-flowers

Wesely claims that he could do exposures for even longer duration of time - ten, twenty and even forty years.

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