Random Sights and Diversions

Photography Media Reviews Commentary

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More Abstract Expressionism

Untitled. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

Untitled. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

We are back to working on images involving digital manipulation of images based in nature. I consider these an exercise in abstract expressionism, even though the series as a whole is titled “Natural Impressions.”

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Trees in Winter (Thick)

Trees in Winter (Thick)

Trees in Winter (Thick). Fuji X100. 23 mm. ISO 400. 1/125 sec at f/11. Digitally manipulated. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

This is the latest image in the series of abstract and semiabstract images created by extensive post-capture digital manipulation on images from nature. We are usually unable, with the unaided human eye, to appreciate the full depth of a natural scene. We fixate on a particular point of focus, usually so even if we can deepen the depth of field. I imagine that if you view a deep stand of bare trees in winter – but compress the full view from 3 dimensions to 2 dimensions – you will have something like this – an impenetrable and nearly chaotic image of the forest.

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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.

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Pond Lily

Pond Lily. Nikon D200. ISO 200. 105 mm. 1/125 sec at f/16. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Pond Lily. Nikon D200. ISO 200. 105 mm. 1/125 sec at f/16. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

I’m starting some new experiments with creative techniques to produce impressionistic abstract images. This image results from using an entirely different set of tools as the Natural Impressions series.

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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.

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Exhibition

Exhibition. Nikon D200. 35 mm. ISO 200. 1/125 sec at f/6.7. Digitally manipulated.  Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Exhibition. Nikon D200. 35 mm. ISO 200. 1/125 sec at f/6.7. Digitally manipulated. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

The trees stage an exhibition of color and texture, branch patterns interweaving, crowned extravagantly with brilliant leaves. We should realize more often how nature is calling out, “Look at me! Look at me!”

 

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