Monday, September 27, 2010

Abelardo Morell

For this photo project I am using Abelardo Morell's series on Alice in Wonderland as my inspiration. In the series he uses cut outs of the original illustrations to re-illustrate the story. In all of the pictures, books are used as props with in his miniature stage set; pattered cloth is also a common back ground for his scenes. The dramatic light coming out of the book is probably the most important aspect of this image. Having the rabbit back-lit is also key because it allows the white of the paper to  become darker and retain the information within it.

Once again the dramatic lighting sets the tone for the picture. The book also plays another major architectural part in the image. Something new in this shot is the introduction of outside props. The miniature tea set adds to the three-dimensional parts of the set. A small aperture and slow shutter speed gives him the depth of field to view both Alice and the figures closer to the camera.

Of all the images in this series, Morells use of the water and reflection makes this image my favorite. The patterns appearing in the shadows and the light reflection off the surface makes the image come alive in the same way that the light with in the book animates his rabbit hole picture. His willingness to totally destroy his subjects for the picture is terrifyingly successful. Though I would struggle to go to such lengths, his desecration of these books and illustrations have made for an almost magical series.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Steve Chong

This is another simple set up that uses basic camera functions and household objects to achieve a subtly surreal photograph. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the image is the way the selective focus plays with the liquids in the glass. With out this the shot would be just another slow water drop. In the description, the Chong describes how he used corn syrup for its sticky consistency. He also notes that he got up at 3am to have the set ready for the first rays of the sun to enter the window and offer the lighting he wanted. This type of still life is one that I worked with thought out most of high school. Simple set ups and selective focus were my style.  I can not claim that I ever achieved anything this beautiful, but it certainly is reminiscent of some of my early work. 

Though I have yet to find a photo by the Parkeharrison that I don't like, I picked out this image for its relative plausibility. Most of their images are far too elaborate for me to even hope to try something similar. However, the simplicity of this one is what draws me in. Though it is still surreal and maintains the story like quality of their other work, it is achieved through simple props and some motion-blur. the still bird with feathers circling the child's arm are the focus of the picture, but the antlers and moving man mimic the situation, as does the trailing bit of vine or root in the top left corner. The making of this picture could have been as simple as a slow shutter-speed, cloudy day, a fake bird and two actors.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thomas Barbey

Barbey's work is always spectacularly fascinating. In this picture especially, the molding of the two images is beautifully done. Even the paradoxical idea of the river underwater and the proportion shift from people and houses to the pool ladder looks unnervingly natural. Venice really should not fit so easily underwater. I have done several double exposures before, but never anything more complex then overlaying patterns on other images. However, I would love to try more difficult images in future work; probably nothing this challenging, but something that involves more dogging and burning to create the apparent unity of the images, rather then the typical transparent pictures I have done before. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Angel Chiriboga

Though this has no relevance to my current project, I found this image too intriguing not to share. In its own morbid way, it reminds me of the emulation I did of Abelardo Morell. This series balances two-dimensional x-rays in a three-dimensional setting. Though in some of the images the x-rays are hung like pictures on a organic wall, this particular photo has the lungs hanging from a tree as if the tree were the spine that connects the pair of lungs to the forest around it. I love the idea of the photographer walking around the woods with these x-rays, trying them on different trees to see which ones fit. The way in which Chiriboga places the x-rays with their back ground (lungs with the tree, brain with the 420 graffiti, feet walking along the river) shows a true seeking out of the right environment for each image.

Ian Ference

Once again, this picture immediately put me in mind of the chairs I photographed earlier. The soft lighting from the window is even similar to the lighting of my picture. The setting of this shot is also reminiscent of what my recent work has been centered around. The abandoned and decaying building with the leftovers of past inhabitances, the ghost of a presence. Like the chair of John Divola, Ference’s chair is facing away from the viewer. However, unlike Divola, this chair is facing the window as though looking for escape, something its previous inhabitance have evidently already found. In the caption on Ference’s website, the lighting is labeled as moonlight. Ference probably saw the room before hand (unless he just likes walking around abandoned hospitals at night) and chose to come back when the moon was at a place where he could use it to get the type of lighting he wanted for the final shot.

John Divola

After printing my image of the plastic lawn chairs, Divola's series on chairs drew my eye immediately. The use of vignetting gives the light a soft quality. Because Divola chose to turn off the two wall lamps and use two obscure light sources on the ceiling, the over all feel is of a mysterious and surreal setting. The way the chare was placed with its back to the camera gives the impression that we are looking in on something that does not include the viewer. The textural quality of the walls and inclusive depth of field as well are characteristics of the entire series, giving them all their subtly classic feel.

Thursday, September 2, 2010