Random Sights and Diversions

Photography Media Reviews Commentary

By

Prelude in a Major Key

Prelude in a Major Key. Digitally Manipulated Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

Prelude in a Major Key. Digitally Manipulated Image. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

This is a new image in the “Natural Impressions” series. The original exposures were made with a Nikon D200 and a Nikon 35 mm f/1.8 lens. Among the various post-capture processes applied are included: multiple exposures, solarization, polaroid transfer, and various adjustments with contrast and colors.

I’d like to say a little more here about these abstract digitally manipulated images. These images are “impressions” of nature because they all begin as photographs of natural scenes, and in all I want to create (or inspire) impressions derived from the original image. But the images themselves are in fact much more like the abstract expressionist movement that began early in the 20th Century. Kandinsky is the best representative – in fact, the originator – of this movement. Pollack would be a relevant example from late in the movement. I’ve derived inspiration for these manipulated images from Kandinsky and others. I hope there is some (not too much!) resemblance.

For the abstract expressionists, experimentation, improvisation, spontaneity, and discovery were important. These characteristics are represented in the way I am creating these images. I may work on one original image numerous times, experimenting with different combinations of particular digital processes, looking to see what emerges and open to seeing new relationships of color and form. In the process, new ways of seeing nature may be revealed, fresh “impressions” as it were, which deconstruct and reconstruct the original scene.

By

Exotica

Exotica. Nikon D200. 35 mm.  ISO 200. 1/6000 sec at f/1.8. Digitally manipulated. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Exotica. Nikon D200. 35 mm. ISO 200. 1/6000 sec at f/1.8. Digitally manipulated. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

If the arts are held up solely as a means of social insight, fantasy is denied the chance to be commonplace and reality the chance to be exotic.  Richard Eyre.

I’m an ocean, because I’m really deep. If you search deep enough you can find rare exotic treasure.  Christina Aguilera.

This is a recent image from the Natural Impressions series – images based on original photographs in nature and created with substantial digital manipulation.

By

Sunday Afternoon Woods

Sunday Afternoon Woods. Nikon D200. 35 mm. ISO 200. 1/80 sec at f/11. Digitally manipulated. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Sunday Afternoon Woods. Nikon D200. 35 mm. ISO 200. 1/80 sec at f/11. Digitally manipulated. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Sunday Afternoon Woods is another image in the Natural Impressions series of impressionistic and digitally manipulated images drawn from natural scenes. I thought this image had been posted here, but I was putting together an index of this series and could not find this one on in Random Sights. So, here it is. One of the things I like about these images is how they show that, while not at all apparent to the (unprocessed) eye, the essence of multiple seasons can be present in a single image. In this image, for instance, shot in the fall, one can see what looks like snow on many leaves and branches. In any natural scene, there is an inherent form and structure that is constant through the seasons and other changes. Foliage, different times of day and light, may obscure it and lead us to see the scene in a different way, but that form and structure is there nonetheless.

By

One Four Challenge – Week Four

Disunity IV(b). Digitally manipulated. Week Four of One Four Challenge. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Disunity IV(b). Digitally manipulated. Week Four of One Four Challenge. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

This is week four of the One Four Challenge. Originated by Robyn G., the One Four Challenge consists of taking one image and post-processing it in four distinct ways on four successive weeks. (The original and all four subsequent images are collected below.)

For One Four Challenge participants who are not regular followers of my recent work, this image will look very strange. Although distinctive and different in some ways, this image is in the style of a series I have been working on, “Natural Impressions,” which bring extensive digital manipulation to images shot in nature. A collection of some images in this series is here. All images begin as conventional photographs, and most images contain recognizable elements. But the images are intended to convey the photographer’s digitally created impressions inspired by the original scene, thereby generating a fresh and different appreciation of the colors and textures of nature. Some more background information on the philosophy behind these images is in my post, “Defamiliarization (Ostranenie) in Photography.” Techniques employed in this week’s image, similar to those in the rest of the “Natural Impressions” series, include: HDR; solarization (Sabattier effect); polaroid transfer (digital); and extensive toning and color manipulation.

There is an alternate version of this week’s image, here.

Disunity IV(a). Digitally manipulated. Week Four of One Four Challenge. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Disunity IV(a). Digitally manipulated. Week Four of One Four Challenge. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Both of these images, I think, reduce the disjointed tree to its essence. The tree is almost disembodied from the background landscape, emphasizing the disunion notion that is at the heart of each image.

The following slideshow includes the original image and the subsequent images of the One Four Challenge (including both versions of this week’s).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I hope you have enjoyed these images in the One Four Challenge. Comments are most welcome!

By

Druantia’s Garden

Druantia's Garden. Fuji X100. 23 mm. ISO 200. 1/140 sec at f/8.0. Digitally manipulated. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Druantia’s Garden. Fuji X100. 23 mm. ISO 200. 1/140 sec at f/8.0. Digitally manipulated. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Druantia is the Celtic goddess of trees. I’d like to quote here from Wikipedia (Citations within this passage can be found at the linked Wikipedia entry):

Druantia is a hypothetical Gallic tree goddess proposed by Robert Graves in his study The White Goddess (1948).

In Neopaganism, Druantia is an archetype of the eternal mother as seen in the evergreen boughs. Her name is believed to be derived from the Celtic word for oak trees, “drus” or “deru”. She is known as “Queen of the Druids“. She is a goddess of fertility for both plants & humans, ruling over sexual activities & passion. She also rules protection, trees, protection of trees, knowledge, creativity.

This image is one in a continuing series of impressionistic images derived from nature and processed with extensive digital manipulation. Collectively, the series is “Natural Impressions.” Also see the earlier post on Defamiliarization in Photography.

By

One Four Challenge – Week 3

Disunity III.  Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Disunity III. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

This is the third edit in the One Four Challenge, a project to edit a single photograph four different ways on successive weeks. The One Four Challenge was originated by Robyn G.

Of the three edits so far, I like this one the best. The processing this week is moving into a more impressionistic style. Starting with the output from raw conversion (which included some exposure adjustments, noise reduction, etc.), the image was processed with software from Topaz to achieve this more “painterly” appearance (Topaz Simplify). Leave comments; I’m very interested in what people think of this style.

If you do a search on my site for “tree” or “trees”, you will find over 70 posts with those tags. I love trees as a subject for photography. They are readily accessible, plentiful, and offer great variety. Most trees have great character, have very individual personalities. Some trees seem to say fundamental things about life and the cosmos. Indeed, there is something powerfully awe-inspiring about trees, rooted to the earth, but alive! vibrant, and growing, often with lifespan and size that dwarf human scale.The textures and shapes of trees are infinitely fascinating. They capture our imagination, and we can conjure up a vision of trees talking with each other, discoursing on all they have witnessed and remarking on the comparatively futile ways of humans. Would the world exist without humans? Probably. But without trees? Exist, maybe, but surely not be such a thing of beauty and joy.

Here are the first three week’s edits together along with the original:

%d bloggers like this: