Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monochromatic fire dance

As I started looking over the photos from my recent photo shoot with the firedancing group Incendia, I noticed that the textures in several of the photos were by far the most eye-catching part. Experimenting a bit with black/white treatments, as well as twiddling the white balances and the saturations — just to see what an extreme modification might do to the picture — I ended up settling for this particular look for a handful of my pictures.

Photoshop and Photoshop Lightroom have two different approaches to saturating and desaturating images: one straightforward, and one that tries to care about skin tones (vibrance). As it turned out, by some experimentation, aggressive desaturation complemented by aggressive vibrance increase lends us this look, where the fire loses its saturation, its coloration, and fades into these almost black/white textured streaks, while skintones and the clothing of the dancer stay clear.

This treatment highlights the texture in the fire, while simultaneously emphasizing the dancer in the photos where she shows up clearly and cleanly, boosting the contrast between the moving fires and the (relatively) immobile dancer.

As for the composition of the collection, the two calligraphic-looking shots form a nice diptyk, framing the entire series; with the Parallell Transport a nice and directional way to lead the eye inwards, and the swirling picture a good, balanced and … centralized centerpiece.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

[Admin] Pic-a-day turns into compositions and collections

Still one of the images I'm most proud of.
If only I could articulate just WHAT it is that speaks to me…

I've just finished my year long picture-a-day pledge. And this means it is time to go in a new direction. The new direction I am choosing for this blog is rooted in some exercises I did back in July, and I'd like to tell you about this background in order to sketch out where I'm going from here.

I went to visit my dear Aunt July 24-27 this year. At the core of the reason for my visit was to pick her brain on composition, and on art as an occupation. So she ran me through a number of exercises, all of which were similar in character, and all of which set out to train me in seeing picture compositions, using picture compositions, and curate my own picture material into selections that actually express something tangible, something that will, with any luck, speak to the watcher.

So this is what I will be doing here. I will still be taking new photographs, but starting today, this blog is no longer focused on displaying a picture a day. Instead, I will pledge to one post every week — alternating (unless I want to do something else with the platform at the moment) between thoughts on composition, on curation and on other aspects of being an artist on the one hand and explicit curation with explanations of the message I think I am sending and the thoughts that went into the creation of any given photo set on the other hand.

This is, with quite some margin, the next big thing for me to work on.
I hope it will be as enjoyable for you as it is for me.

Proud and surprised faces of Stockholm

At the Pride Parade of Stockholm Pride, 2011, I walked as a wheel guard for the fetish club Dekadance. While walking, I saw a large swathe of Stockholm's citizenry: many supportive faces, many proud faces — and quite a few … I have to say … surprised faces.

Here, as my first collection, a sampling from the faces watching our float.

Look at THAT! Fotograf till fotograf Oh my!
Objektiv mot objektiv
Across the world
From behind the camera
Mischief Taking a break from photography Cameras, cameras, cameras

It is always a wonderful feeling to walk the parade — the sheer weight of the audience's attention on you gives me an adrenaline and endorphin rush that has few equals. One way I try to capture it is to seal some of the attention and reactions we elicited, to gather them and arrange them.

You should be able to click the pictures to get a better view of each picture showing up, and — as always — all my pictures are on my flickr account.