More work today on painterly effects and dense textures. These two images are two as yet experimental outcomes from a work-in-progress where I'm stacking layers of several images of the same woodland captured from slightly different positions. Then I'm trying out different background textures that I shot myself in the garden, using blend modes and selective blurring. There's a lot more work to be done, especially with colour balance and blurring. I like the effect though. With blurring in the right place and small 'clearings' in the overall density you can draw the eye in towards a region of the picture or even into the depth of field. In the top image it's somewhere right of centre in the bottom third. With some textures, bark and woodchip for example (tree-on-tree), you get those distinctive breaks in the picture, resembling early cubism.
These are some initial explorations into the use of painterly effects on colour images and in the final picture a touch of gradient lighting. A lot of this involves creating your own textures - an alternative yet interesting day out shooting walls and surfaces - along with the use of blurs, blend modes and masks. I use Affinity Photo for image processing and am indebted to David Straker for his generosity in sharing so many online tutorials. I particularly like the effect of offsetting one or two colours against near black and white. Having seen some very good work in the urban setting I think it would be interesting to work with solitary figures against a landscape. The trick is not to overcook things. But who's the judge of that? By the way these were all shot with decent lenses on one of the cheapest Panasonic micro four-thirds cameras.
I came to photography by way of collage. All I ever wanted to do was take my own pictures and make collages but as I found there's so much more to investigate en route. Anyway, here I am, back at the beginning, experimenting with the kind of work that I always wanted to make with respect to landscape. I was discussing the use of film, rolls of 35mm, with a friend of mine, a very experienced and gifted photographic, sculptural and land artist. He spoke about the narrative of the roll of film and it got me thinking about the practices involved in travel photography and about ways of presenting landscape as a simultaneous series, as memories of a day's walk, the intimacies of a personal adventure.
I've started a new series of self portraits. I was thinking about one of my favourite photographers, Francesca Woodman, who said she could always rely on herself being available as a subject (don't worry, I've kept my clothes on). Nobody seems to have decided if self portraits are about how you see yourself or how you want others to see you as portrayed by yourself. I never succeeded in getting a handle on commercial portraiture though I'll shoot a wedding if you want to pay me enough. I far prefer these long exposures because they say something about the fragmented nature of our experience of ourselves and because they allow time to enter the frame. Perhaps also, in some cases, such a technique allows us a glimpse of the vulnerability of the subject. This is a project I want to develop both at home and in other environments so I'm looking forward to researching all the great work out there by artists past and present.
The crinklephone is yet another versatile instrument from the home orchestra. This one offers many articulations from digital manipulations to friction activities both on and off the microphone.
I won't say too much for now but these two instruments form part of a new collaborative composition project based upon an orchestra of acoustic instruments old, new, unorthodox and, frankly, bizarre. I'll leave you to work out what they are, how they're played and what they sound like.
There's a lovely soft light comes through the frosted glass of my studio door. I put some tracing paper over the window to diffuse it even more, blackened some boards for a background and began taking pictures of some my musical instruments. These gourds just seem to ask to be played.
That's not really the title of the photograph, a study in green, but essentially that's what it is. This sounds quite simple - a photographer known for his woodland work makes a picture with lots of green in it. But it's not so simple, at least not for someone like me who has spent hours post-processing images of woodlands in order to balance the almost infinite hues, tints, shades and tones of green.
I'm looking at some species of conifer, a sapling, just left of centre and in the foreground, with bright lime green turning-to-white flourishes of needles, like a dancer's pompoms in an impressionist painting. These are met at the top of the trunk by the leaves of another sapling, deciduous this time, just to the right. They're so bright they could be electric fairy lights. Then a few dapples of the same green on the forest floor and off to the right. From there the rest of the composition is quite simple. Everything recedes into darker green, except for one notable feature - a grey trunk just behind the conifer sapling, almost dead centre. It might be a birch. There are no branches visible so it's just like the one in my garden where the branches start half way up the trunk. It seems to break every rule in the composition book yet it holds the photograph together.
I know that Porter took time over his dye transfer prints and I also know that green can be problematic with respect to exposure, especially under direct light. I might be mistaken but I doubt it would be possible to achieve this kind of colour balance and harmony in the digital realm. Of course I'd love to be proved wrong because then I could buy that printer.
Mainly music and photography
processes, methods, experiments, research, drafts, sketches and observations.