This series of 15 frames is a burn sequence of matches taken over 1.36 seconds. Initially, the sequence may appear to show much of the event, but it does not. To put that amount of time into perspective, mathematically, each exposure is 1/8000 sec, so the total time recorded is 15/8000 sec, or 0.001875 second, which represents a capture of only 0.14% of the event.

 

The other 99.86% can not be known because it was not recorded. Yet, the average viewer would not have difficulty filling in that void to properly contextualize and understand the sequence.

 

Two factors contribute to this filling of the gaps. First is that the images are ordered. By the 2nd or 3rd image, the viewer likely knows they are looking at a sequence. In this instance, the sequence is chronological. The sequence is chosen by the photographer.

 

Second is the life experience of the viewer. When confronted by a series of photographs, a viewer is likely to contextualize what is seen based on what they know. Most people have seen a match burn, maybe not up close, but it is likely to be familiar. The viewer can see that the images are a periodic sample of the event and easily fills in what happens between the frames to come to an understanding about what is being viewed.

 

Without conscious intervention, the process of connecting the frames is not controllable by the viewer - it is an automatic response, driven by the subconscious, which will connect the frames and create meaning based on the life experience of the viewer.

 

The event of a burning match is not a complex event, and for more complex sequences, the relationship between photographs may not be initially clear, if at all, for which different viewers are likely to see different relationships between the frames, thus deriving a different narrative to the same sequence.