Activity 12: Applying the Formal Elements: Time

Two teenage women stand near each other. One is Delph and the other is the photo of her mother as a teenager.
Figure 6.32. Danielle Delph, If I Had Known My Mother Back Then, 2016. Digital photo collage. Collection of the artist.

Works of art can showcase a moment in time, an implied passage of time, and even change over time. In your photograph you will explore time as it relates to moments, memories, or the passage of time. Consider how you can use the elements and principles of design to describe time to your viewer.

Discussion Board Activity:

Begin by writing down your associations with time. What comes to mind? Is there a specific subject, location, color, or mood that you would like to convey?

Create your photograph.

In your discussion board post, explain why you chose to create this image. What objective and subjective reactions do you think your viewer will have while viewing your photograph?

Note any specific elements within your photograph that could convey time:

  • Are there repeating elements in your photograph that create a sense of movement or passage of time?
  • Does color (or lack of color) create a sense of a mood or feeling?
  • If including people in your photograph, how does that contribute to a sense of time?
    • What are the people doing and how do they dress? Do they look older or younger? Do these factors (or others) make the photograph look modern or older?
  • If including the landscape in your photograph, how does that contribute to a sense of time?
    • What season is it? What time of day is it?

Allow time for other students to comment on what they feel your photograph conveys, based on their objective and subjective observations.