Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Photographers Prepare for a Moment in May


Journalists are often at their worst when trying to predict the future. But it seems safe to say that many hundreds — if not thousands — of shutters will be released simultaneously on Sunday, May 2, as photographers around the world help Lens create “A Moment in Time”; one single moment in the life of the planet.
That moment will be 15:00 hours in Coordinated Universal Time or U.T.C., the contemporary equivalent of Greenwich Mean Time. In the United States, under daylight time, this would be 11 a.m. on the East Coast, 10 a.m. in the Midwest, 9 a.m. in the West and 8 a.m. on the West Coast. For local times around the world, you can consult this converter from timeanddate.com.

Lisa Gottlieb Berkowitz said she may be in labor at that moment and promised that she’d “be very careful” about any picture she takes. Brenda Sinclair Dutton expects to be flying to Indianapolis and plans to take a photo in the plane. In Alaska, Sarah Kennedy noted, it will be 7 o’clock. “I’ll sure to try to take a photo of the pretty sunrise,” she said. “If I’m awake.”

Rob Kunkle was less optimistic about the scene in San Francisco. “Sunday at 8 a.m.?” he asked. “I don’t think anyone is awake then in S.F.” But Dick Halstead, of Palymyra, N.Y., is confident that his day will be well under way. “I hope to include the United Church Choir,” he said. “We will just be concluding our Sunday Service.”

These were among the responses to our initial invitation, “A Timely Global Mosaic, Created by All of Us,” in which we asked everyone, everywhere, to join in making this worldwide photographic mosaic, with each photographer submitting their one best picture. As guidance, we suggested a few broad topics like arts and entertainment, community, family, money and the economy, nature and the environment, play, religion, social issues and work. And we also suggested that you might find the experience even more rewarding if you do some planning in advance, taking into account how best to represent yourself, and your community, with a single image.

You asked how long you’d have to submit your picture. |
The answer: up to five days from the time you took it. The submission form will be live and usable from 15:00 (U.T.C.) on Sunday, May 2, until 15:00 (U.T.C.) on Friday, May 7.

You asked how large your file ought to be. |
Because the pictures will be published up to 1000 pixels wide on the Web (that’s big), the larger your file, the better — up to a point. But please don’t send anything larger than 5 MB. If you’re using an adjustable camera phone, be sure to set it for the largest file size possible.

You asked whether we were aware that “A Moment in Time” was scarcely an original concept. |
Yes, we certainly knew we weren’t the first. We’d love to be able to say we remembered that May 2 was also the date chosen in 1986 by David Elliot Cohen and Rick Smolan for “A Day in the Life of America.” But our memories aren’t that good. It’s merely a happy coincidence.

You asked how it could possibly be midnight in Beijing when it’s 15:00 (U.T.C.). |
It can’t. Our calculations were off. It will be 11 p.m.

As the moment nears, you can follow the project on Facebook and on Twitter.

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