Using long exposure, multiple exposure, digital stitching and photo stacking, photographers are going beyond the limits of photo-realistic, representative work. Photographers are demonstrating their imagination, inspiration, and interpretation in their efforts to move from realism to emotion and expression. Like the original impressionists painters, these photographers are incorporating movement as the fundamental and essential feature of the experience of the art. This art seems to transcend the literal and become the stuff of dreams, movement and imagination.
I have been following Bob Cruthcher on Flicker for a couple of months now and enjoy his use of intentional camera movement (ICM) together with a slow shutter speeds to produce visually compelling images.
One of my goals this year is to feature the work of photographers who are experimenting with impressionistic technique.
I have been following Bob Cruthcher on Flicker for a couple of months now and enjoy his use of intentional camera movement (ICM) together with a slow shutter speeds to produce visually compelling images. Crutcher lives in St. John’s Newfoundland. Looking at his Flickr Photostream St. John’s is visually rich environment.
Earlier this year Crutcher told me that “Legs” (the lead image above) was his favourite impressionistic photograph. It is a strong composition with lots of visual interest drawing the eye from left to right. I like the saturated colour and strong sense of motion. The exif data tells a lot about the technique. Shot using a Canon Rebel and a medium telephoto at 1/8th of a second, the camera appears to be moved slightly vertically during the exposure.
Vertical ICM isn’t new. Freeman Patterson, another east coaster, used it effectively in the mid 90’s to create trees with height and weight to rival an Emily Carr. But with a deft hand and a new point of view Crutcher has given the approach fresh look.
I also like the compositional range. Some images are tight crops; looking for the picture in the picture. Others are wide perspective like the one below. Nicely done Bob.
It’s an interesting story. But what caught my eye is the use of a strong photo impressionistic image as the lead. A wonderful long exposure photo showing members of the Vienna State Opera Ballet performing in February 2013.
More and more I see photo impressionistic images in main stream media which is a clear indicator of the genre’s acceptance.
A long exposure photo shows members of the Vienna State Opera Ballet performing on stage at the Stage opera house in Vienna in February 2013. (Herwig Prammer/Reuters)
Technology and creative expression are closely linked. So it should come as no surprise that the rise of photo impressionism is closely linked to the success of the iPhone.
I recently explored that relationship in a post on my personal photography site. See http://www.dagostino.ca/technology-leads-art-smartphones-and-the-rise-of-photo-impressionism/