In the series Chronos (2006) Niko Luoma developed his interest in multiple exposure, reflection in space and time in analogy photography. Each photograph of the series is an abstract image of the passing of time during a day.
When he started to work with abstract content 2006, Luoma was faced with a number of questions connected to the photographic process. His main issue was whether or not it is possible to truly create an abstract image through the analog photogaphy. Luoma was not only interested in visual abstraction of blurring by long exposure or soft focus, but was searching for what could be realized from inside the camera, as opposed to referring to the reality outside the camera.
In the very beginning of his working process on the Chronos series, Luoma was experimenting with visualising time. He photographed the exact moment in which one hour ‘disappears’ every year one the last Sunday of March at 3:00 AM, when time is moved instantly one hour forward to 4:00 AM, the so-called daylight saving time. Luoma pointed his camera outside the window of his studio and released the shutter in this exact moment. However, since it was dark outside, the camera was only able to capture its own reflection on the surface of the glass window. To him this photograph was failure as well as a revelation. It failed to make the invisible visible, but was revealing in so far as it pointed back to the process of its making. It turned out to be a photograph of an exposure itself, a photograph of an idea.
It marks the point in Luoma’s career in which he started to focus on the photographic process itself. Luoma delineates: "Instead of focusing on what is in front of the camera, I focused on what is inside of it. Photography as a process and the camera as an apparatus and tool is about mathematics, physics, numbers, rules, and standards. The process becomes my source material.”
The work One Day in March (2006), his first line/light based work and the beginning of the Chronos series, is a sum of several exposures instead of one. In the process, Luoma used drawings as a bridge from the outside to the inside of the camera, from actual to abstract. These drawings depict changes of light on the table in his studio over the course of a day. He photographed each line, one by one, on the same negative, using only light as material and the drawing as an instructional plan. In other words: Luoma was building up his image through the lapping of one layer of light upon another, using the same negative over and over again. At the end there was an abstract photograph of time, of one day.