“Professional artists”, be it photographers, painters, illustrators, always have some personal projects going on. Something not commissioned by a third party. Something that often only makes sense to themselves. I have a few of those. Some I’m not ready to share (yet). Because they don’t make sense to me (yet). They’re still baking in the oven, so to speak. A few others you find below.
This started out as a project I did for when I was doing a Summer Intensive photography education with Rocky Mountain School of Photography (RMSP) in Missoula (MT, USA). It was only trees at first. For the project I wanted to show the unique characteristics, and character, of indivual trees in a fine art kind of way through stark contrast. After I graduated and I got home, I started seeing these characteristics also in other things, and the series has since then expanded with different images as well.
These images are for sale in a limited, numbered and signed edition of 300, with a signed certificate of authenticity.
They are sold only in series of three, and come matted and framed.
The print itself is appr. 14x22cms / 5.5×8.7in in a black mat frame of appr. 33,5x82cms / 13x32in.
Get in touch through the contact page if you’re interested, or if you have any questions.
With the rise of digital photography, the accessibility to (reasonably) good, (reasonably cheap) digital cameras, as well as readily available online (free or cheap) image editing software with all kinds of filters and presets, professionals and amateurs alike have gone wild over contrast and saturation sliders and jacking the colors all the way up. Somewhere along the way someone started calling it HDR photography, and pulled the entire term HDR out of its original setting.
Back in 2010 I wrote an article about what exactly is HDR and what is Cross Processing, because I got increasingly annoyed with people posting “surreal” images with completely overdone saturation, sunset landscapes with neon purple skies, etc. etc. It was published in photography magazines in the Netherlands and Finland.
Here’s the summary:
HDR (which stands for High Dynamic Range):
A series of images taken with different exposure times, brought together in photo editing software, into a single believable image, which due to the limitations of the camera’s sensor, couldn’t be capture in a single exposure.
This term stems from the “olden days” when we still developed film with chemicals. Cross processing back in those days meant that we’d use the wrong chemicals to process film, which resulted in funky and/or supersaturated colors, because the light sensitive layer of the film would react differently to the wrong chemicals than it would when using the correct chemicals.
So everyone who’s been messing with saturation and contrast sliders, creating some sort of Warhol-type image with crazy colors, hasn’t been doing anything with High Dynamic Range photography, but has basically been digitally cross-processing the image.
I find that this process works best with reds, blues and greens, and specifically with for example old paint on surfaces, corroded objects, and so on.
Have a look at the gallery and you’ll see what I mean. Befores and afters are under the respective image sets.
If you head on over to the Landscapes gallery, and find the image of the big tree lying on the beach at sunset in Oregon USA… THAT is an HDR image, a compilation of 3 images with different exposure times, combined into a believable image, as the eye saw it, but of which the camera wasn’t able to capture it in one exposure.
This started on a summer evening in Helsinki, Finland, with a pair of neon green Converses (or something like that), just standing in the middle of the pavement. I was on foot, with camera, strolling around on my way back home when I noticed them. It made no sense. Whatsoever. I looked at it for a minute or so, looking around also to see if anyone was near who may have put them there, but no one was. The adjacent terrace was pretty much empty and no one was paying any attention to the shoes.
I thought it made for an interesting picture, and right after I shot it, a homeless guy made his way past me, had a quick glance in my direction, and quickly took off with the pair of shoes.
In the time following that evening, I started noticing more shoes, and also pairs of shoes, randomly scattered on my path. In the weirdest places. And since none of these shoes were on anyone’s feet anymore, it became “Off foot”.
None of these images are staged. I photographed them as I found them in their surroundings. The only thing I did was take a picture, and did some basic editing.
I’ve worked in the graphic industry for a long time. I started as a graphic technician and machine operator on one of those big printing machines. I still love that part of the graphic industry. I love the smell of books. Of news papers. Ink (not paint, ink) has a very specific scent, which always brings me back to that time. Nostalgia.
So I worked a lot with ink. We mixed our own colors according to the Pantone Matching System (PMS). There are twelve or so basic colors with which you can create 9,000 or so other colors.
It took me a really long time to notice it, but at some point I was about to start mixing one of those 9,000 or so colors, pulled open one of the cans of base inks and *click*.
I looked at the surface of the ink, dried, hard but flexible, and there it was. An intricate pattern was formed while the top layer of the ink had dried and formed a skin.
And the beauty of it: depending on the viscosity of the ink (that’s bluntly put how thick the ink is, and how easy or difficult it pours), the the surface dries up differently and forms skins with different patterns.
I found it very fascinating. I started opening up other cans, and more cans, and at some point I had 30 or 40 cans standing around be, at which point I realized that I really should get back to work, and do this stuff in my own time.
And so I did…