Tag : droplet
this is one of my favorite images. It is so melodramatic that I get a huge variety of responses to it. My own response is “very cool” if I do say so myself. This image is also a very good example of my process.
I have always been fascinated by “droplet” photography. We have all seen amazing images of different colored liquids captured in exquisite detail as they are mixed and splashed. As cool as that is, I have always seen it mostly as a technical achievement. I wanted to explore this area of photography, but it has been done so well that I felt that I couldn’t really do it any better. Since it was not something I wanted to spend to much time learning I thought maybe I could take a decent droplet image and then incorporate it into something a bit more my style. So I started making photographs of droplets of different colors of water. When I got a version that was decent I processed it and filed it away for later inspiration.
Compared to the technical perfection of many other droplet photos mine was quite inferior. However, I realized this and thus it was an artistic choice to make it anyway. Besides, if it was going to be part of something else maybe the unrefined nature of the photo would be an effective tool.
A few weeks later I was experimenting with different lighting setups for photographing eyes. My lovely wife has very beautiful eyes and I am forever trying to capture them perfectly. She is very patient and always willing to indulge me.
So now I have on my computer these droplet images and also some interesting eye pictures. But still I had not connected the two.
As I was playing with the glass and the water dripping into it I realized that I could flip part of one of the images and make it look like there was something flowing into the glass. It all snapped into focus (to use a tired but apt cliche). Tears were perfect, and if I had tears I needed eyes. And guess what, I had some very interesting eye pictures. Working with digital images is truly a pleasure and within seconds I had all the image elements layered in my PS file. There was plenty of poking, prodding, painting, and many masks and adjustment layers.
After I was done with all that the image looked great…except, it looked a little out of balance. Its Feng shui was off. I experimented with several option to balance it out and make it feel right, but they all felt forced and wrong. In frustration I decided I was done and it was just going to be what it was going to be. I added my tiny signature in the corner and went to close the image. Hmm, I thought, what if I make the signature part of the image? Interesting…
Now the image is done and I realized something…this is a self portrait. Not in a direct sort of way of course, after all I’m not in the frame. It is a self portrait of my artistic “fingerprints,” my point of view. In a way all works of art are self portraits, but to me this is a piece devoted to that powerful and perhaps self indulgent subtlety. That is why it needed a big signature, to not only balance out the composition but also to overtly insert myself into the piece so that it would be become about me. To me this image says “Hi there, I’m Daniel Bloom.”
Thanks so much for reading!
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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.