Tag : strobe
I’ve been posting allot of digitally altered images. There is nothing wrong with them, in fact they are more or less my forte, but sometimes I want to show you something more “real.” One could have a long philosophical discussion about whether a photograph even represents reality, but for the purposes of this discussion I will say that I think a photograph represents a portion of reality, one of many pieces that never quite seem to add up to the whole. You might even say that obviously altered images still represent a portion of reality. In that case, rather than physical reality, emotional reality. Provided of course that they were created with honesty by the artist.
We humans, as the product of evolution may not be well disposed to view “thoughts” a part of reality, but they do “exist.” Perhaps art is the manifestation of an, as yet, uninvolved emotional sense. Clawing for life through thousands of years left us with an organ designed to keep us alive, but maybe human art taps into a part of our brain that is still evolving, still in its early stages of development. The implications of this idea are myriad, and though completely speculative, I find this concept oddly compelling. Perhaps this can explain some of the seemingly ineffable, yet extremely powerful, nature of the best art.
(I cross my heart, there were no drugs involved in this post. Though I do have I pretty vicious head cold)
All that being said, this week we have two images instead of one. There is a good(tenuous at best) reason for this. We are talking about images, altered or not, representing reality. The two photos from today’s post are practically “untainted” by my dirty digital hands, and thus should represent some portion of physical reality, right? Well here is another question: does artificial light count as altering reality?
These photos represent to different angles of the exact same object in the same location. They are lit entirely artificially by a singe strobe light which I placed behind the bench pointed directly at the camera lens. The fill light is coming from the bounce of the flash off the wall that was directly behind me. Both photos were taken after dark, on a very, very, dark night. They are also shaded from any light from the sky by overhanging trees. In other words, it was pitch black out side. In other words, the only light in the images is completely artificial and also slightly different for each photo.
Despite all of this “alteration” I would say that to be both these photos represent their subjects very accurately. In fact, I tried to take pictures of this bench during the day and I just could not establish the drama that simply oozed out of the ancient moss covered wood. When I looked at the bench, I could see its age, its life, its character, its creepiness perhaps. But, taking a picture communicated none of these things. It was not until I completely “artificialized” the conditions that the truth of the bench make it into the lens.
Objects may exist regardless of the consciousness that perceives them, but they are irrelevant without that consciousness. In other words, facts are useless unless they can be conceived, communicated and understood. Perhaps sometimes, in art, but also in life some portions of reality must be “adjusted” so that truth about another portion can be understood.
I apologize for the rambling and “deep” nature of this post, so very much, but that’s what comes out when I sit in a Starbucks in midtown and watch humanity rush past my window.
If anyone actually makes it this far please let me know so that I can apologize in person the next time I see you.
Thanks for reading!!!
FB: Daniel C. Bloom Photography
That means that its Photo of the Week time. I am going to let you in on a little secret: I often write 2 or 3 of these posts in one sitting and then spread them over a couple weeks. I only bring it up because I just finished writing last weeks very dramatic and earnest post and at the moment I don’t feel like doing another quite so earnest. This weeks post is more fun.
This image makes me think of fairies…and I bet it makes you think something along those lines as well. It was taken on the same evening as the birdbath featured in my inaugural post. You may notice a similar glowing mist in the background. Both of them were taken in complete darkness in a beautiful little courtyard on the grounds of the house I was staying at. I have a couple more from that location and they will probably come up on future posts.
As is so often the case the two best things about this image are both accidental. Yeah, yeah, the lighting looks cool, but without two little accidents this could be a rather pedestrian photograph.
The first is obvious and really the main focus of the photo. Yes, i’m talking about the super cool purple glow caused by the strobe bouncing off of the flowers. I had no idea that the purple would come through like that, but man does it add a ton magical intrigue. To me it look like the light is not coming from the reflection of the plants but actually from a glowing subject out of frame to the right. In fact this image could even be a little story about the glowing being that flies around this dark stone courtyard at night and does mysterious things…like put big slugs in my photos.
Yup, there is a huge slug crawling on the stone wall on the bottom right of the frame. Guess what? I had no idea it was there when I snapped the shot. Granted, it was pitch black outside, the only light was my 430exii speedlite, and when that was firing I was looking at the back of my cameras internal mirror. (not actually the back of the mirror, the front, but I am taking poetic license thank you very much.) In fact, and here is where the genius comes in, the slug is really a more brown/gray color, a combination that is incredibly hard to see even on a 22Mpix image. When I found the slug I realized that I had found an awesome little detail that gave me some interest in working on this image. So, I changed the color of the little bugger and gave him/her/it(really not sure) the spotlight. With just a couple layers of blurring, sharpening, and hue/saturation, the slug pops right out and becomes a central part of the image. However I do think it is subtle enough to evade the very first glancing viewing of this image, especially with you eye drawn to the magical purplish light above. At least, that was my intention.
In the end this image is fun and made me smile, so my best hope is that it does you as well. Thanks for reading and see you next Sunday afternoon.
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!