… and Other Techniques

Continuing on from last time with my exploration of Andre Gallant’s Book Digital Dreamscapes and Other Techniques, this post looks at what Andre calls a Mirror Montage.

This Mirror Montage is built from a single source image, a very bland photo of an iron stair rail at a building across the street from the old Customs House in downtown Charleston, SC.  I duplicated the original image in Photoshop, and then flipped the duplicate image on its vertical axis, so that the stair rail in the duplicate curved in from the left instead of the right.  I then combined the two images by layering one above the other and then used the Multiply blend mode so I could see both stacked images at the same time.  I moved the top image layer around until the ball at the bottom of the rail in both images overlayed itself, creating this interesting other worldly, mirrored scene.  I then cropped the intermediate image, retaining the middle one-third, to make the final composition you see above. To finish up, I adjusted the color saturation and contrast to wind up with a pure Photoshop fantasy.



Learning the Digital Dreamscape ….

For a long time, my photography has been tending toward impressionism as I have tried to capture how I felt about my subject at the moment of exposure, and not just record its existence.  There is a gap between making a photography that simply documents a moment or a specific thing at a particular moment, and making a photograph that captures and conveys the feeling of the moment.  I hope I have accomplished the latter with the following photograph.

I captured this image last July in Charleston, SC, on my way home from my nephew’s wedding in Florida.  I saw this building exterior, with a row of small, street-level windows, and the lush flowers and leaves overhead.  I took several pictures, but when I got home and got this image into the digital darkroom, I was not able to bring out the essence of what I saw.  So, I filed the image away for a later time … which turned out to be this past Christmas, when Barb gave me a book by Andre Gallant, titled Expressionism: Digital Dreamscapes and other Techniques.

I became aware of Andre’s work about a year ago through a book he co-authored with Freeman Patterson, a noted impressionistic and abstract photographer. Andre’s book is 160 pages of exquisite photographs, with about ten pages of really clear text interspersed between the photographs explaining the techniques he used. As I read Andre’s explanations and then slowly absorbed how he executed the techiques in his photographs, that photograph from Charleston came to mind.  With Andre’s book next to my monitor, I executed my first image using his digital dreamscape technique – you see the results, above.  I am really pleased with this first effort.  Most exciting for me, though, is not the way this particular image came out, but the fact that now I that know how to make this style of image in the digital darkroom, I can now shoot with an outcome like this in mind and know I can carry it through.

I hope you like this image.  I will go into the details of the techinque in a later post.


Not Quite a Wondrous Toy …

“It went “Zip when it moved, and “Bop” when it stopped,

and “Whirrr” when it stood still,

I never knew just what it was, and I guess I never will.

(c)Tom Paxton, “The Wondrous Toy”

These two photos are from my trip to the Lonaconing SIlk Mill last month.  I don’t think that any of us who have been to the mill have the slightest clue to what these devices are or what they are meant to do, but we have all photographed them at one time or the other.  They seem to move from place to place in the mill, never in the same place twice, so where they actually belong is anybody’s guess.They are metal “cones”, standing about 8-10 inches tall, with several holes, and affixed about 12 at a time to wooden bases, making a pallet.  I found them this time in the lower floor of the mill, with several pallets stacked up.  I took several straight forward shots of them, but was not satisfied with the results, so I went a little artsy with these two shots.