I’m quite reticent about discussing my own work, thinking it a rather grandiose place to speak from. Nonetheless, what emerges from my summer “shooting spree” often surprises me (which is what I intend), and I’m surprised how much attention I’ve paid to these particular images.
The folder of images of snapdragons became very compelling to me, although they were not immediately images which I looked to for “keepers”. They were quite “traditional” images, by which I mean they seem straightforward still lifes mimicking the Dutch and Flemish flower paintings of a few centuries ago.
One thing which I work to achieve is minimal light, which can be a tricky thing in digital. If your brain is rewired by your camera, you start to over-illuminate and just aim for that digital clarity and detail, which can only take you so far.
As far as process goes, I take the original into Camera Raw (a Photoshop plug-in which is a kind of gateway to PS, allowing a first pass at “correcting” exposure, contrast, etc., in the digital negative.) I usually take the image to a quite neutral place, actually lowering the contrast and evening out the image. In PS itself, I work with layer modes “Multiply” and “Screen”, applying the layer modes, masking out the transformation, then “painting in” the shadows and highlights respectively.
The effect I am working for, in Nostalgic Deceptions and other similar pieces, is a mysterious, out of time/out of place feeling in which the subject is barely emerging from darkness, as a memory might, and illuminated in way that models the subject in a dream-like way. There is a general sense of disquiet and foreboding, and disintegration in the blooms that have fallen away. The deception is the tension between an exquisitely beautiful memory and the treachery of decay that must take place.