Sunday, 13 May 2007
I know this seems a little out of place being as I’ve been posting my landscape abstract photos. This is a photo I took a while ago; I’ve done some editing to this, to get the smooth blurred effect in the background using radial blurred. I think this is an unusual image. It’s a macro part of a sharks jaw believe it or not. Use your imagination and maybe you might see some kind of strange/surreal landscape. I'm seeing some kind of a mountainous hill from above.
Posted by Lewis at 08:59
Wednesday, 2 May 2007
Hmmmmm…… time for more of my thoughts about this abstract art/photography business. I been thinking a little, yes me, thinking….! Unheard of.
I’ve decided that all art, whether it be an oil painting, or a digital photo, is abstract in some way. Every time you take a photo, reality of what you’re seeing is being altered. What do I mean? Think about it, when you take a photo you may actively alter aperture setting, shutter speeds, colour setting etc, which contributes to the reality being altered. Even if it’s a completely recognisable photo, it still is abstract for the reasons I’ve just mentioned. When you load your digital photos onto a computer and view it on the monitor, that monitor has just gone and altered the image. Then all the Photoshop alterations you may well make also contribute to it becoming more abstract. Then the final print also alters what the image was originally. The printer, the ink, the paper etc, it all alters how the image will finally look. So that’s it I guess, any piece of art is abstract to varying degrees.
I’m going all philosophical on here and say to you what is reality. Our reality is simply what we perceive it to be, and we don’t question it. However the life in which we live could all be an illusion. We would struggle to accept it, if someone came along and said there is another world, a world of reality and you were told that the life you were living was all one big illusion. This is kind of touching on Plato’s “Analogy of The Cave” theory. If you’re into light reading you should definitely read it, or watch the matrix……
I don’t what came over me, my philosophy a-level all came flooding back, kind of. Is our life real let alone what we’re photographing? We will never know……….. Maybe in an after life, if there’s such a thing. As humans we’re too small and insignificant to ever understand reality. I often think to myself, well how did we end up here, on planet earth. I often look at the stars at night and wonder what is out there and it’s kind of scary really to think of the size and the power of the universe in which we live. In truth we will never find out the answers to life. People believe in the “big bang” or in God but this is because people need to grasp onto something to believe in, because that’s all we can do is believe. Wow I’ve just gone on a typing rampage, perhaps I’ve have digressed a little.
Posted by Lewis at 03:53
Tuesday, 1 May 2007
Monday, 30 April 2007
Friday, 27 April 2007
Only now have I been able to get outside and do some photography, because finally its a little warmer! Went to Cornwall and boy was the weather great, really absolutely stupendous old chap......... So only now can the abstract project link to my original landscape project I wanted to do. I can't link bog standard landscapes to abstract photography, because I’m obviously avoiding representation. But I can deliberately blur the landscapes I capture by physically moving the camera. I’ve got my own method of doing this by balancing the camera (praying I don’t drop it!!) on my knee and moving the camera as much as I can as I take it. I can’t physically lift the camera off of my lap so the way I do it is the only way I can. I thank my lucky stars I can still manage with my condition. Oh yeah almost forgott, I took this at trelissick gardens.
Posted by Lewis at 03:50
Thursday, 26 April 2007
Captured at "5 Degrees West" in Falmouth, Cornwall, great place it is too, run by my Cousin. I took it looking through the back door into the patio area with white lights in the Trellis. I've deliberately moved the camera to capture the light trails. Its Non-representational of what I was seeing, so its arguably abstract.
Posted by Lewis at 10:15
Thursday, 12 April 2007
Sunday, 1 April 2007
Wednesday, 28 March 2007
Monday, 19 March 2007
Sunday, 18 March 2007
Thursday, 15 March 2007
I've done quite a bit of research into this so far and what seems to be case is that people have totally different opinions as to what have abstract photography is (all art is very opinionated) what I have been starting to do is to look at abstract art. Its definition is relatively simple. Abstract art is an art form which departs from natural appearances. Taking it to the extremes abstract art can be non-objective however as I've said before a photo can never be totally non-objective. Obviously as photographers we rely on what we see around us. I've always considered an abstract photo to be one that is unrecognizable. One of the ways to create an unrecognizable photo is to use macro and capture tiny details, detail you wouldn't necessarily recognize with the naked eye. However, thinking about it, is this really abstract. Capturing close up detailed, isn't the way of attempting to alter reality, because the camera is accurately capturing what we see. However, if you start to alter colours or for example use black and white you are actively altering what we see. Let's think about black and white. Black-and-white is non-representational of how we see the world and you could therefore argue that any black-and-white photo is abstract somewhat. However I don't want to take black-and-white photos thaI've done quite a bit of research into this so far and what seems to be case is that people have totally different opinions as to what abstract photography is (all art is very opinionated)
What I have been starting to do is to look at abstract art. Its definition is relatively simple. Abstract art is an art form which departs from natural appearances. Taking it to the extremes abstract art can be non-objective, however as I've said before a photo can never be totally non-objective. Obviously as photographers we rely on what we see around us.
I've always considered an abstract photo to be one that is unrecognizable. One of the ways to create an unrecognizable photo is to use macro and capture tiny details, detail you wouldn't necessarily recognize with the naked eye. However, thinking about it, is this really abstract. Capturing close up detailed, isn't the way of attempting to alter reality, because the camera is accurately capturing what we see. However, if you start to alter colours or for example use black and white you are actively altering what we see.
Let's think about black and white. Black-and-white is non-representational of how we see the world and you could therefore argue that any black-and-white photo is abstract somewhat. However I don't want to take black-and-white photos that are totally recognizable and argue that they are abstract, I want to do something a little more interesting than that. A black-and-white photo doesn't totally depart from naturally appearances because really for something to totally depart from natural appearances it must be unrecognizable and therefore the natural appearance of it must have been altered.
To physically alter an objects natural appearance in photography we must use techniques like blurring, which is moving away from exact representation. I would therefore also argue that Photoshop editing is a valid way of creating something that is abstract. Some people seem to really hate Photoshop, they feel that with Photoshop you can cheat, and create images quickly than would otherwise be quite technically difficult to do using only a camera. They feel that it's taking away the skill element. I can kind of see where they're coming from, but it's not always a simple click of a button on Photoshop. Layering up photos can become quite technically difficult in Photoshop. Depending on what you do, there is quite a bit of skill in using Photoshop well. For me Photoshop is brilliant and I really don't know where I'd be without it. I'm quite limited in a way I can photograph things, being quite weak physically in the upper body and particular my arms, due to having Muscular Dystrophy.
There are certain techniques in photography which I simply wouldn’t be able to do myself without help. Moving the camera to create a radial blur by moving the camera in circular motions would be impossible from me, but there is always a radial blur option in photo shop. Altering a photograph in photo shop in my view is most certainly a valid way of creating a non-representational and therefore abstract photo.
Posted by Lewis at 07:22
Wednesday, 14 March 2007
Tuesday, 13 March 2007
This was an idea I had a while ago (see this in my photography ideas) For these photos I filled a plain white vase with water. I wanted a perfectly white background and didn’t want to be able to see the glass. I used a red head light in the studio, and lit the paper behind the vase. Lighting it made a nice bright white background. So I then started to drip ink into it and I was pleasantly surprised with the way the ink reacted with the water, creating beautiful twirls and patterns. The light seemed to make the black ink appear purple, not sure why.
Posted by Lewis at 06:16
Sunday, 11 March 2007
Thursday, 8 March 2007
One of the great things with Photoshop is how you can layer stuff up. As you can see there’s white & black lines running through. This tells you there are two layers. Now the one layer was a desatured inverted version of the original and the other layer is just a desaturated version. I placed the desaturated version over the top of the inverted one. I made the top layer opaque (around 40%) which means the layer underneath showed through. I altered the levels, brightness & contrast and curves to add as much contrast as I could between the dark and lighter tones, so obviously the white is bright and black is really dark.... I much prefer bold, strong contrasty b&w imagery than pale delicate imagery.
Posted by Lewis at 03:35
Wednesday, 7 March 2007
Yeah I really can't think of a descent title for this abstract, and well is there really any point in giving it some long pretentious title. I think too much art is pretentious and well I really don't want to go down the slippery slope of pretentiousness. So perhaps I ought to give it away and tell you guys what the image(s) actually are, I wouldn't have done this but beings as this blog is part of my project I do really need to explain how I captured this photo. I said in my photography ideas lower down in the blog I would take photos of items of "glass wear” and so that’s what I've done here. These are images of a curvy s shape white glass vase. However to capture images like this one I have used a mirror. That white highlight you see near the bottom of the image, in the middle is the edge of the glass vase and the rest below is the reflection in the mirror. Now I have slightly edited this image but now filters have been used. What I had to do was use the clone tool to edit out what appeared to the like scratches or something. I've decided that I think the scratches were on the actual mirror which I didn't notice until I got the photos on a computer. I'm a bit annoyed because I thought most of the photos looked pretty good on the camera screen but it seems that most of these images show the scratches. Therefore, with the images I feel work best I will have to work on them a bit to edit out the scratches. I didn't do a lot else to this photo other than increasing the contrast a little, which added a little warmth to colour of the image which makes the image stand out. I've always most liked images that have a good bold contrast as I think they stand out really well. I'm not a great fan of these very opaque and pale photos some photographers create, but then it depends on what the photo is and sometimes the pale image does work, no doubt. Right, so why did I pick this photo from the contact sheets? Well obviously because its one my favourites, but why, there has to be a why. There’s reasons why I must have chosen this one to work on. It seems stupid but it always quite difficult to decide exactly why a piece of artwork attracts you. I don't like images that seem to be a mess of lots of different colours, there is something tacky about an image with all the colours of the rainbow, it’s just too much. I quite like images that are just one colour with different shades of that one colour. Perhaps this is what I like about this image because it’s beige with light brown with some dark brown which are similar colours and they just look right together. What else do I like about this photo? Well its got quite a smooth finish, its been taken on f/2.7 so most of the images is out of focus apart from the middle strip running through. I think the dark lines running through are what make this photo, without those lines the image would just be nothing.
Posted by Lewis at 08:26
Monday, 5 March 2007
This was desaturated and then invertred so the strokes running through are white and therefore stand out as against the dark background. The grdient shows up well hence the title I've given it. Looking at this more I think perhaps it works better than the red edit below as it stands out more and perhaps is therefore a little more dramatic.
Posted by Lewis at 06:09
Again I’ve just added this so you can view a bigger version of this abstract. As you can see this is the version with the spattered effect, which just adds a different textural quality to the piece. To go with the texture of the piece I've deliberately made the edge textured by scratching into it by using a grass blade shaped eraser tool in Photoshop. Just thought I'd try this just to experiment and to try something different, in the hope to try and display it in a more artistic manor.
Posted by Lewis at 04:24
Saturday, 3 March 2007
I was taking some photos of a white vase using this small light I have (I will post the photos of the white vase very soon) After I had taken these photographs, some kind of overwhelming divine power took over my thoughts telling me I should photograph the bulb itself, so in answer to this I photographed it, funnily enough. This is the message I received from god "Lewis, I see the future, there’s abstract potential in this bulb, its up to you to capture it" now imagine that in a deep powerful voice....... so Anyway lol, I set my camera to f/8 (aperture) a small hole in lens because obviously there was a lot of light. Combining f/8 with a very fast shutter speed meant I could capture the filament inside a bulb without too much light burning the picture out. Now as you see above the original is on the top left, this is a reasonably interesting photo in itself, but it is by no means what I would call abstract, after all I do want to try and capture unrecognizable images, and it’s far too obvious it’s a bulb. I was interested in the filaments inside the bulb, so I got into Photoshop and straightaway used the crop tool and cropped out just the middle bit. I then reduced the brightness levels slightly and added lots of contrast of it, which meant the light stood out against a black background, as you can see. I was instantly happy with this, I wanted to do more to it and just see what I could create in Photoshop. I used the motion blur tool as you can see; I then used the colour gradient tool on the photograph. I did usual brightness and contrast tweaks until I simply thought it looked best, I believe art is about personal feel and you do what you personally think looks right. You release the shutter on a camera when you think every element of the photo looks correct, there’s this bloody great quote by Ernst Haas which I think is so right, nice one Ernst mate, that’s right on money. Here it is, you ready?
"My theory of composition? Simple: do not release the shutter until everything in the viewfinder feels just right"
I love that, its almost implying not to follow any golden rules, just do what you think is right, that’s what I do.
So back to the photo. I was rather pleased with the results of this edit, why? well its definitely abstract, I don't think any passer-by would instantly say well that’s a bulb, everyone who reads this now knows what it is though (dammit lol). I'm really not interested in actual subject matter I use; I’m more interested in creating ascetically pleasing abstract photographs. This image again kinda looks like a painting, it’s got a painterly effect to it. Bottom right, is a slightly different edit, I have applied a splatter effect, again giving it a painterly effect.
Posted by Lewis at 08:55