I caught wind of Mr. Whitney's work while learning about slit-scan photography, the technique used to create those engrossing images that form the "stargate" sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It never occurred to me that this kind of motion photography was possible in 1961. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how slit-scan is done, but this experimental short film demonstrates other tangentially related techniques. Whitney employs techniques such as extended exposure, optical manipulation, kaleidoscopic mirroring and some frame-by-frame editing, all with the aid of an analog computer Whitney built for this purpose.
The image effects in this short still fascinate even after decades of ever-improving special effects and the advent of computer technology. Even the most spoiled connoisseur of special effects would find appreciation from the work Whitney and others, of which Catalog displays for our wonder.
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