Tuesday, January 4, 2011


These two images of Kess represent an example of something that I've been working on during the past couple of years. I've been going back to older images and completely starting over from scratch, and finding new ways to finish them. That is the beauty (and possibly the frustration) of the potential of negatives- whether film or digital. The possibilities of what a technically good negative can be turned into are endless. In the past, my modus operandi was to retain good solid blacks, make sure that the lightest areas were not blown out- and then let everything else fall in between. This was a logical way to work in the darkroom with film, with some burning & dodging here and there to help. Using layers in Photoshop, though, allows me to exploit areas of detail that would have been impossible or at least extremely difficult in the darkroom. Rather than exploiting the possibilities of distorting or retouching images, I'm finding that instead I can create levels of detail that inherently exist, but were way beyond my reach in the darkroom. That is to say that I'm not making detail up, but merely excavating it very carefully, much the way an archaeologist carefully excavates a dig with fine brushes and other tools. After all, that's exactly what Photoshop is anyway- a very powerful tool. Of course, all tools can be used either heavy-handedly or with fine precision. I've discovered that using fine precision is allowing me to make images that are hyper real, instead of becoming hyper fake.

Speaking of detail, the images that I post here are actually scaled down versions in order to be viewed easily on the blog- if the image is clicked on, a larger and more detailed version can be seen...

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