Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Altered States

This is a photography blog where I have wrestled with various issues that I confront as I continue to develop in my craft. This entry will be a bit of a departure from that. Okay, maybe more an extension of that.

I have been experimenting with some of my photos and am curious about viewers' responses to those experiments. The following images all started out as traditional photographs but have been photoshopped to within an inch of their lives. Such manipulation takes the representationality of the photographs and leeches out the indexical nature of the image, leaving only its most basic constituent shapes, colors, and textures.

I'll always be firmly committed to "traditional" photography, but I find something very freeing about this experiment. I'm considering putting together a show of these images printed onto stretched canvas, so I'm very curious how others respond to these images. Do you find them compelling or contrived? Somewhere in between? Which ones do you find the most and least interesting? Why? Thanks in advance for any feedback. Take care.





Burning Angel






Jacob said...

Turning photos into abstract pieces would be very easy to make derivative and un-artistic.

One way to avoid this is determine the emotional tone for each image, or some key color, texture or contrast, and try and make that the main element of the abstract piece. That way you don't lose the essence of the photo.

I love most these pieces, and like the rest. My favorites are Burning Angel, Hub and Friction.

Printing them to canvas sounds like a cool idea. One thing I've seen done is taking a photo, printing it on canvas, then painting over the image with a clear medium, mimicking brushstrokes that follow the shapes. It gives it the texture of a real painting, and with acrylic paintings the texture really brings them alive.

Riley said...

Yes, I've seen that as well. I'm trying to avoid that because it smacks of buying into the idea that photography is painting's step-sister. Some straight photos are great printed onto canvas because the texture really plays off well with the image. When you come in a few weeks you'll see a big example of that in our living room. Thanks for the comments!

Matt Morris said...

Some work better than others. I like "Friction," "Antibodies," & "Tendencies" best. I wonder about your statement that you will remain "firmly committed" to traditional photography. Do you feel ambivalent toward the experiment? If so, is that giving it a fair chance?

Riley said...

I don't know about that, Matt. Just because I say I like vanilla ice cream doesn't mean I don't occasionally like to each chocolate. Just because I admit that I'm still committed traditional photography doesn't mean that I am giving short shrift to this new side interest.

Matt Morris said...

Fair enough. I'll agree with you about vanilla where soft serve is concerned, but otherwise, I'd like to know what other flavors are available. Butter pecan, for instance. You know what else is good? Klondike Bars!

Riley said...

Now I don't know if I'm inspired or hungry.

Melanie said...

Well, my comments aren't near as intellectual as Jacob. : ) I think they are very eye-catching! I would definitely hang one up on the wall if I had one on stretched canvas.