Thursday, December 11, 2008

Through My Window

I have a lot of open topic assignments where I have to do something technical with my photographs but the subject matter is 100% up to me. For the better part of two weeks I kept imagining a lamp sitting against a blank wall with the shade off exposing the harp (that metal part that holds the shade up) and the light on but the chord being unplug.

My school focuses most of its curriculum on commercial photography as opposed to fine art or conceptual work. It's not a bad thing and the latter is more than welcome in the school, it just doesn't happen as often as I think I might personally like. I think I usually envision things as concepts rather than what we might see in reality and that's what happened in this project. I like conceptual work because it allows the viewer to render their own interpretation of the piece. Also, when I talk to other people about my work, they can see something in it that I never intended to be there which opens my eyes to my own preconceptions.

For me electricity is a powerful thing that I don't think about every day. I think about the amount of energy it takes to light a city and how someone's stopped heart can beat again by a surge of electricity. I also go to thinking where all that energy comes from and it all begins with nature. Those thoughts led me to this image that I created where the lamp is being powered by the sky around it.

For the technical part of the assignment I had created a sepiaesque color palette. The technique was started by Sean Duggan ( -He and Katrin Eismann write some amazing books on Photoshop techniques). It combines desaturated color aspects of the scene with selected elements in sepia. I'll be honest, when I first heard about it I wasn't too excited. However, once I actually dove in and started using it on some of my own images I really began to see how it can make an impact on the right image.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Warning: Do not use for unintended purposes

There's a program out there called Photomatix that is used to make HDR photos like house image I took in Fairplay, Co. The program takes several photos of different exposures but of the same shot and merges them together for the purposes of giving detail in highlights and shadows that one wouldn't be able to capture in a single image. For the program to work properly its important that all the images line on top of one another as Photomatix doesn't know to rotate or orient them. But what happens when you use a program for something other than its intended purposes?

I took 5 photographs of a set of stairs at different angles and merged them into an HDR image and this is what it came up with. I like how the stairs begin to form a circular pattern and the greenish swirls on the surface. It looks like its starting to burn or that layers of the photo are being peeled away.