Photographs Captured Over Years with an Open Camera Shutter

German photographer Michael Wesely has spent decades working on techniques for extremely long camera exposures — usually between two to three years. In the mid-1990s, he began using the technique to document urban development over time, capturing years of building projects in single frames. In 1997, he focused his cameras on the rebuilding of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, and in 2001 he began photographing the Museum of Modern Art’s ambitious renovation project. He uses filters and extremely small apertures to reduce the amount of light striking the film, creating unique images that capture both space and time.

Wesley says that his technique could be used for even longer exposures of ten, twenty, or even forty years. You can learn more about Wesley and view his list of exhibitions over on his website, or purchase the book he created from this Open Shutter project.

Image credits: Photographs by Michael Wesely