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The expressionist landscape
When asked to describe the evolution of this project, all I can think of is that evolution is certainly what this was all about. I knew taking on a project that involved a camera technique that was foreign to my photographic skill set would be a challenge on top of attempting to create images that were heavily focused on color and light. It was proposed that I take on a color project using a completely different color palette than what I was used to working with. I took that suggestion and created images that were heavy in bright complementary colors of yellows, oranges and blues. After spending most of my time forcing myself into something that did not come naturally, I found myself with a handful of imagery that I just didn’t care for.
This project was primarily influenced by the work of Chris Friel, as I have written about before but also the paintings and mixed media work of Anslem Kiefer. Friel’s work has always piqued my curiosity as to how he was creating the images he creates. After some research and a lot of trial and error, working with intentional camera movement has been something I have really learned to enjoy during this project. The approach to the work in regards to color and light fall into the assisted reality artistic involvement where I am using the scene together with the blurring of the image made during exposure by moving the shift mechanism on a tilt/shift lens up or down and the manipulation of the color in post production.
The majority of the images were shot in the afternoon where the spatial direction of the sun is almost nearly overhead. This creates deep shadows where they are seen, but due to the intentional camera movement, the shadow edge transfer of the light to shadow tends to render softer than it typically would without this technique. Also, there is no actual specular highlights present for the same reason and that there were no real reflective matter present in the images. Also because of the camera technique used the diffused value renders as soft rather than sudden although a good portion of the lighting conditions were during bright or directional parts of the day. One of the key elements of this body of work was the choice to manipulate the color palette for an emotional effect. Choosing to do this led the work to have contrast of saturation and contrast of cool and warm. The work is very subdued with the grey and ominous skies presented in the work, the oranges and yellows however were not desaturated and even some were saturated a little more. Because of the grey skies that render as a cool contrast to the warmth of orange and yellow elements present throughout the images, the emotional effect was to highlight and demonstrate a pictorial transition from fall into winter. As the work progresses through from the first image to the last more snow or blocks of white appear. There is still a warmth to the season of fall where winter is darker, moodier, and even visually cooler. The play between warm and cool hues affect the overall plasticity of the imagery but the blurring also undermines the push and pull of plastic intervals. The images seem flatter than they really are regardless of the contrast and color dynamics in the images presented therefore the distance between objects (or foreground and background) feel as if they are on the same plane.