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.