Monthly Archives: January 2012
I can understand that, but to me works of art are like tattoos, as long as they are honest you never regret them. I firmly believe that there has never been a single human life lived without some regrets. As such, we must learn to “own” our mistakes, to understand them and to integrate them into ourselves as we move forward. In this context any work of art, no matter how dire or depressing or painful is an indelible part of the artist and indeed a part that should be embraced and exploited. I have no idea whether this applies to others, artists or not, but it definitely applies to me.
Back to the image. This piece was originality entitled “despair” a name that seemed rather obvious. As my relationship with this image changed over time (it has been some years since its creation) it became apparent that this name did not fit. Sure superficially it looks right, but ultimately despair was not what I was trying to communicate. So I renamed this “It Gets Better.” Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to say that there is hope somewhere represented in the frame, there is not. That’s the point. It needed a realistic name to accompany the surrealistic melodrama. Even for the most downtrodden life is not completely devoid of some kind of hope and it would be dishonest for me to imply it with this image. Especially as this is a self portrait and my life has been far, far from hopeless. This image is really meant to represent a moment. A moment we have hopefully all had and spend the better part of our live running from. The renaming of this image represents to me the integration of this moment into my conscious and unconscious view of life and pain, and struggle to separate the two.
I am not sure what else to say about this one. It has its flaws, technical and others, but I like it, and when I look at it I can still remember how I was feeling when I shot it.
P.S. – I have many thoughts on tattoos and tattoo artists, and I realize that I made some short reference that in no way did that subject justice, and rather than take that section out I added this one…maybe sometime in the future this blog will allow me to talk about tattoos. I can hope.
Thanks for reading.
This image is my nemesis(sometimes). Which is funny because I created it. It has so many technical flaws that if I were doing it now I would fix. And yet it is one of my most artistically and thematically concise images. This is the picture where I found my artistic voice. I am quite sure that I cannot put into words quite how profound that is. This was the first piece of art I I ever created that I truly thaught was exactly what I wanted it to be. It was the first image I was ever able to invest with enough meaning and emotion that I would call it art. It was also the first piece that I was able to take my technical abilities and use them to create something more than cool, more than interesting.
This is a simple image. Simple in theme. Simple in structure. Simple in concept. It is also a rather cliché technique of mixing color and BW in an image for emphasis. Regardless of its roughness and its simplicity and am very proud of this one in particular.
I have a few thank yous that I would like to formally make in regards to this image. I would like to thank my younger brothers Taylor and Michael who were so willing to help even when I was very poor at communicating what I wanted them to do. This shoot was very low tech and they both were able to execute their tasks with great skill. Not only that they were both great fun and hilarious. They have a small video production company with their friend Nathan Called Oak Croft Films that specializes in hilarious sketch videos. You can find their Facebook page at http://goo.gl/vM9cP and I highly encourage everyone to take a look as they are quite amusing.
I also must thank my brother Chris Bloom, the subject of this image. He is one of the most hard working and enthusiastic people I know. He is always willing to work with me on anything and he gives his all in absolutely everything he does. He is a dancer in NYC and a fantastic choreographer.
Well, this has been a rather heartfelt post. I know that this may not be the most information ridden episode of Photo of The Week, but sometimes there is just not that much to say about a piece. It’s also rare I think to be able to pinpoint the the genesis of something. In this case I am hoping that recognizing how big a deal this image is to me that I will be able to apply the same focus and drive to my future projects.
Obviously i have taken liberties with the color and shadows, but this is also a great example of how alteration is in many ways more descriptive than direct representation. The setup of this shot is simple. on a Sunday afternoon the garage i was in was deserted and the sun was out, but was somewhat blocked by these fantastically billowy clouds. The tones in the garage were all drab and gray and out the back was this astounding landscaping covered in hot but dappled sunlight. it was an awesome contrast with the industrial feeling of the garage and I think that was what i was trying to capture. when i got into photoshop i decided i wanted some more organic tones for the garage. I just liked the aesthetic. unfortunate that took away from the beautiful greens and yellows of the plants. I immediately turned the outside world red and added that tint to the light falling on the concrete floor. because i tinted the light hitting the floor the transition from the more realistic garage to the obviously surrealistic garden is far less jarring and the tones mix in a much more subtle way.
To me part of taking pictures is recognizing when you have interesting elements even if you don’t know exactly what they will add up to. we all see the beauty of a sunset and the beach or a lake nestled into a lush valley, but i try to see those interesting factors in different places and capture them as best i can and then later worry about exactly how they should relate and combine.
I also have to confess that this image is not completed. There is something about that irks me. I am not sure exactly what it is, but it’s one of those things that will have to stare at me for a while before I decide what I want to change. That is one of the best things about working in a digital environment, I can do it one way and then stare at it forever and then go back and adjust. It is also one of the worst things about working in digital.
Maybe by the end of this blog something will come to me.
The first thing I want you to do when you read this is look at this image for a while and try and decide what makes this image cool right off the bat. I have shown this around and without fail it take a couple beats for people to recognize the fact that the right side of the image is black and white, while the left side is in color. Cool right?
I had been wanting to try this idea out for a while, but I until this image I hadn’t found one that would work well without looking contrived and altered. Now, obviously when you notice the effect you realize that it has been altered on a computer. However, what I try to do is to not have that be first, second, or hopefully even third thing that you think. My goal, almost all the time, is to make the enhancements fit the piece well enough that in the context of the piece itself they are not distracting. I usually have little interest in replicating reality, but I also don’t want you to be distracted by the surreal additions.
This particular image is very good for this subtle BW/Color effect. First off, large sections are already somewhat monochromatic. In fact the sky is really the only section that really shows off any color at all. The second reason is the silhouettes. They are by nature black and so I didn’t have to worry about the contrast of skin tones and I also had an area I could use as a natural dividing line. The third thing is the nature of the clouds. The clouds themselves, even on the color side, are relatively grey-scale. Because of this the clouds are reasonably similar across the image and this makes the changing bluse sky less distracting. Because of these factors the blue sky is really the only major transition from left to right. Yes, the water is different on either side, but your mind wants to see the symmetry, so it does. The transition of the sky is also adjusted to follow both the cloud edges and the diagonal lines of the arm and leg as they extend towards the top right corner. All these subtle effects are enough to confuse a mind looking for symmetry and patterns, at least for a couple seconds.
On a completely different note, my favorite thing about this image is the droplet of water coming off the foot on the right side of the image. It implies motion of the leg rising out of the water and as such breathes that all important “life” into the photograph. My other favorite thing about the drip is that I never saw it during the shoot.
I think I will call this image “A Drop of Motion”
Anyway, please make any comments you would like and thanks for reading.
I am making a few changes to the format and I am hoping everyone will like them. This is going to be more of a blog than simply posts of photos I have taken. I am hoping to bring a little artistic incite to both the readers and myself. I am hoping that writing about my own work will help me focus the artistic style and general direction of my thinking.
So in this blog I am not going to focus on technical methods or numbers(but feel free to ask in a comment and I will answer) I am just going to try and give you general information about my mindset when shooting and editing as well as what I think of the finished product. I am going to try and be as honest as possible so there may be times where I notice something and continue to edit a photo after it has been on this blog. In fact this very first photograph, currently sitting on my left monitor as I right this, is going to be edited and probably re-posted later as a before and after.
I am going to refer to this image as The Fountain in the this posting. Although, it will probably not stay that way, it is the first thing that popped into my head. That and wizardry. It is however not a picture of a fountain, but actually a bird bath, albeit a very elaborate one. At the moment this photo has not had any significant digital work done to it at all. The specs of light you see are actually the mist in a courtyard at about 10pm on the coast of MA in August. The Fountain is back lit with a speedlight with a wireless trigger. To be honest I had no idea it was even misty out. It just seemed like normal humidity, cool evening. However, after seeing what the mist did in this case I quickly took pictures of several other subjects. Some of which you will see here on a later post. There is no front light at all, just whatever bounced off me and the mist.
This images makes me think of magic. I guess it looks supernatural in some way. Indeed, the speedlight and the mist give it an ethereal glow that makes it seem other worldly. It is interesting to me to see how a small light can transform our perception. My favorite thing about this image is that there was nothing added, nothing altered digitally and yet it looks nothing like the reality I saw when I was looking at it. I guess this enjoyment is mostly mine because you just have to trust my account of things, but if you do trust me it does ask quite an interesting question.
Oh, one final note, I am trying to keep this blog very conversational so please forgive me if there are any errors in grammar or spelling or they is occasional wordings nonsensical. I will of course be grammar and spell checking(I’m not an idiot) but those are both far from foolproof.
Thanks for reading!