Thursday, January 31


This blog has been quiet lately because I have been in India for my brother's wedding. I was hoping to have some sort of email contact during the trip, but my web based email client could not send messages. It was quite an odd experience to be out of touch for two whole weeks, and really illustrates how plugged in I have become. Not that I planned on doing any blogging over the trip, I suppose I am just venting a bit.

So, India. What a small word for such a big idea. India is the greatest mash-up of humanity, animals, plants, dirt, sun, exhaust, flowers... everything. I dont use this word often, but I think an appropriate description of India is magical. It is no wonder that Europeans would try and sail around the world to get to India. I am still processing the entire experience, but I think it is safe to say I can feel something of a paradigm shift resulting from the trip. Now that I have family in the country, I hope to return as much as possible.

It is hard to choose one image from the trip that might act as a good introduction, but here is a shot of a monkey seen through the entrance gate of the Amber Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan. A few element came together here to make a good image, though I wish the monkey were not so small in frame, it is hard to see. As always, you'll need to click on the image to see the larger version.

Wednesday, January 9

Tara and John - antiqued

I am working on Tara and John's album this week. I liked this photo enough to put it on the blog. I am still really enjoying the aged photos, maybe this will become a staple of my work. I might convert a whole wedding and put up a separate gallery of the aged photos.

Friday, January 4

Copper Prints

In working with the aged photo technique I came up with something that I think is a little different, and I am calling it a copper print. The idea, is that the image will look as though it has been engraved, or printed on a copper sheet. Combined with Kodak's Endura Metallic paper, I think this has a lot of potential. As usual, these are probably hard to see at the small size of the blog, so click on the image for a larger preview.

Still Perfecting the Aged Photo

I love this shot of the ring bearer, he had such a calm and confidence presence. This was one of the only times I have really posed a person, but he seemed like the type who could pull off a natural look once I got him in the right posture, and I was right. I like the original photo (red), but I like the deguerrotype even better. I believe one of the reasons old photos are appealing, is because they turn your subject into a ghost. Isn't it a coincidence that as a photo ages, it fades, just like we think of ghosts as faded... or maybe it is because of faded photos that we think of ghosts as faded.

I often wonder what all these photos I make will look like in a hundred years. The manufacturers of the paper I use say that they will resist fading for about a hundred years. Does that mean they will look exactly the same as they do today. That concept is odd, can you imaging looking at a photo from 1908 that is just as sharp and crystal clear as the day it was taken? This whole last century has been defined by the current photographic technologies ability to fade. The old BW photos would yellow, the old color photos would loose saturation, etc. You can almost tell when a photo was taken by the type of fading. Does this mean that you will be able to spot a photo from the early 21st century by its lack of fade?

On that note, I have heard of a company that can produce glowing paint very inexpensively. I thought it would be great to use this glowing paint in an injet application to make photographs. So, it could be, that in the future photos will actually glow. Then, we could spot a photo from the early 21st century as it would be one of the photos that does not glow. Just a thought. In fact, if anyone reads this, I thought of it first so be sure to include me in on the patent!

Thursday, January 3

Line Art

The same plugin that allows me to do the impressionist paintings has the ability to convert any photo into line art as well. This is far less impressive, especially considering that of the 50+ images I tried, only these four were still recognizable as images. Most were just a jumble of lines. Here is the interesting thing though, the images that made the best line drawings, were images from my "Best of 2007" edit. This is what I enjoy so much about the plugin. It has really helped illuminate what makes a great image. If an image can convert well into a line drawing, that means the image has a universal gesture at its core. The impressionist paintings work on the same level. If a photo will convert into a painting well, that means it has good use of light. Though this plugin may seem like a gimmick, it is actually a very powerful tool for understanding the visual image. Which is not all that surprising, because the impressionist and minimalist movements that the plugin is mimicking, were both attempts at understanding the visual image.

Wednesday, January 2

Impressionist Paintings

New year, new idea. I have come across a new technique that allows me to turn any photo into an "impressionist painting." Now, that idea in itself is not new, but this is the first time I have seen a technique that actually produces quality results, that can, if done correctly actually look like a painting. It only looks right with the select few images, but I will admit that I am really enjoying it, and am very excited about the possibilities. It has already changed the way I see my photography, and possibly how I shoot in the future. Here are some of my favorites.

What I really like, is that this technique works great with my style of photography. A lot of my photos seem to be better as paintings than photos. --see the judges comment on the image that won in the latest WPJA contest.

In addition, I think this solves another minor problem with wedding photography. I noticed, after my own wedding, that even though my photographers made some great images, I did not want to display them in my home. It just seems tacky to display all sorts of photos of yourself, especially if they are enlarged. With these paintings, you are really just putting up a painting, and nobody will really know who or where the painting is from, but you will. These paintings allow you to prominently display wedding photos in your home, and not seem narcissistic. Not to mention, the low def nature of the painting is far more flattering.