Photographer Matt Molloy has perfected the art of capturing the passage of time in one single, breathtaking image. His photos of sweeping landscapes and night skies look like paintings, with streaks of color and light, but they are actually the result of a method of time-lapse photography that Molloy calls “time stacks.”
In this technique, multiple photos of the same location, taken over time, are digitally “stacked” to create a single image that shows the passage of time, moving light and shadows, and different-colored lighting. He sometimes stacks hundreds of photos to create one of these images. It’s similar to long-exposure photography, but since he’s dealing with many single images, he has more control over the outcome.
While the most dramatic parts of the photos are usually the skies, with their rippling, colored clouds and star trails, Molloy’s photos often include human-made items like power lines, roads, wind turbines, and more. These items, with their fixed, geometric forms, stand out against the constant motion of nature, and make the progression of time seem all the more dramatic.
In the case of these wind turbines, even more motion is brought into the picture, turning the turbines into huge, fluffy tufts.
Fittingly, this photo is titled Land of the Giant Lollipops. You can see some rather hypnotizing footage of them in this video.
What would otherwise be standard, if still lovely, shots of fields, night skies, and lakes become otherworldly in Molloy’s hands.
A sunset becomes a fiery explosion of color, and the paths of the stars become a window into the wider universe. By condensing so much time into a photo, Molloy also seems to capture space, making the scenes he photographs feel all the more expansive.