Sunday, 26 July 2009

Smokey Postcards

Smoke Abtract02"The negative is comparable to the composer's score and the print to its performance." - Ansel Adams

Ansel made this comment in the days of film photography and his point is that both parts of the process, the taking the picture onto a negative and then printing the negative onto a print, are equally important.

Most photographers handed the second half of this process over to someone else when they gave their film to a commercial lab to be developed and printed. The film and paper producers had standards for processing their products based on assumptions about the intent of the photograph and the limits of the process. Of course the strangers who finsihed making the photograph had no idea as to the photographer's intent for the picture. Ansel's comment was a reminder that a photographer had to know and understand these standards, when to follow them and when to break them.

The negative has been replaced by a sensor and the 'wet' process of developing and printing has been replaced by computer manipulation of a digital file. The whole process of moving the file from the camera and making a print can be done automatically following established guidelines by equipment manufacturers. Like the 'wet' process in the days of film, this 'dry' process is based upon assumptions about what the intent of the photograph is. Ansel's comment is still applicable today and photographers need to understand the 'standard process' and when to break it.

I didn't have any shots from any recent shoots, so I dug into my archives for some smoke shots to practice my "post-processing" skills. My smoke shots came from an earlier shoot and this time I decided to explore composite images and adding colour overlays onto an image. I experimented with individual colour overlays:

Smoke Abtract08

I also experimented with graduated colour overlays:

Smoke Abtract09

Next up was creating kaleidoscope-type abstraction:

Smoke Abtract04

All of my shots are in this slide show:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

1 comment:

JayM said...

Those are really wild. Interesting new dimension to smoke photography. The kaleidoscope is mind-bending.