Saffron Walden photographer Lynne Blount said she was ‘shocked’ after hundreds of residents expressed appreciation for one of her pictures.
Saffron Walden photographer Lynne Blount said she was ‘shocked’ after hundreds of residents expressed appreciation for one of her pictures.
There is a balance in impressionist photography between the moment you remember and the precise instant of the photograph. My exploration has focussed on finding approaches that expand time to become that moment. Opacity Blend Image Stacking produces a result that comes close to that balance. This is what I do.
Guest post by Vanda Ralevska.
Over the years photography for me became much more than recording where I have been. Conveying the impression that the scene in front of me leaves on my mind became more important than a purely literal representation.
In my photographs I strive to capture the atmosphere and emotions that the surrounding world evokes in me, and hopefully pass on the feeling to the viewers. Photo impressionism is one of the techniques that allows to simplify the subject down to its essence, and reveal the sense that it creates. Similarly to when you glance at a scene without focusing on detail. The impression it leaves is that of colours, shapes and textures.
Therefore I dedicated a part of my work to experimenting with the intentional camera movement (ICM) and multiple exposure techniques commonly used in photo impressionism.
This image is a result of using these techniques. I was standing at the edge of a woodland, when I spotted the regular pattern created by the tree trunks, interspersed by the autumnal colours of the leaves on the forest floor. The colours were gradually merging into the darkness of the thick forest with no distracting highlights. A perfect combination of colours and shapes to paint with the camera.
I experimented with ICM, however I was not very happy with the results, which were simply streaks of colours. I wanted to preserve a little bit of texture in the leaves and tree trunks. Therefore I decided to use the double exposure functionality of my camera. The first exposure was a straight image with f5.6 aperture, focused on the trees closest to the camera. For the second exposure I chose a smaller aperture f16 to increase the shutter speed and to be able to capture the camera movement.
I post-processed the image in Adobe Lightroom 5, where I increased the contrast and clarity. I used the radial tool to darken the edges. Then I brought the image into Adobe Photoshop CS6 to further enhance the contrast and colours using the curves and NikSoftware ColorPro plugin.
The result is just enough detail to portray a late autumnal day in a forest, but without all the distractions that our minds tend to dwell on when observing the real world.
Editors Note: This is the first image of Vanda’s to catch my attention. I found it on Flickr where Vanda regularly exhibits her photo impressionistic vision. You can also find her on Facebook. Her website can be found at http://www.mylenscapes.co.uk/ Vanda’s work is definately worth checking out. Thanks for sharing your technique.
I am expanding the scope of the Photo Impressionism Project to include a discussion concerning photo impressionistic techniques. The project is called “The Lab” and am opening it up to all photo impressionists who are interested in sharing “how I did this”. The idea is to create a discussion; what works and what you might say… not so much.
interested? Drop me a line at https://photoimpressionism.ca/contact/
Till then you might enjoy my blog post explaining how I create in the round images.
Taylor’s abstract photographs are unique and visually compelling. I find they have a sense of movement and depth you don’t expect in the abstract. In fact the first time I saw them I paused, first drawn to the movement, then the colour and finally the suggestion of a deliberate photographic process.
“The first reaction I usually get when someone sees one of my prints is oh, that’s a picture of a painting.” – Nashville Arts Magazine
I first came across Taylor Jorjorian browsing the blogs on WordPress.com. Son to fine art nature photographer (Byron Jorjorian), Taylor Jorjorian’s first aspiration was to be a commercial chef, but as he describes it, photographing food was more satisfying than cooking it. Creatively his journey has moved from painting, to commercial photography to fine art photography focussing on the abstract.
Taylor’s photographs are created using a process he calls the Liberum method; a technique he is not prepared to share except to say it is physical, not Photoshop based. Looking at his portfolio I think that is an important aspect to his creative process. Despite the fact the images have a painterly feel they also seem to lever the dimensionality we have come to expect in a photograph. He told Nashville Arts Magazine that:
“Wanting more control over my imagery I have developed a method for making photographs that allows me to escape the viewfinder and create deeply personal images from imagination and memory. I call this my “Libuerm” method. Liberum is a latin word meaning free and unrestricted. This simple definition fully embodies what my work is all about.
They are actual photographs created with a camera, using purely photographic techniques. This is important, as I believe it gives my work a more organic feel while maintaining a sense of honesty and integrity. When you view one of my photographs, you know that you are seeing something that is real and was in front of the camera for a moment in time.” – Nashville Arts Magazine
Reading Taylor’s blog you immediately understand that his approach to photography is thoughtful and deliberate. Despite the appearance of spontaneity his photographs are created; not found.
Taylor recently agreed to share some of his thinking with me.
Thanks for finding time to discuss photography with me.
TJ: I have always been attracted to the abstract, both in my own work and the work of others. Before I ever picked up a camera I experimented with other mediums and always tended to portray subjects in an obscure manner. When I did finally take up photography (which was a eureka moment itself, taking place in single night) the desire to create abstract work naturally carried over.
Professionally I was a commercial photographer and mainly did advertising work for restaurants. I really didn’t have any connection with this work and found it non stimulating. In my spare time I experimented with abstract photography using some common methods but found this as equally non stimulating. As much as I as I loved the unique abilities of the camera I found myself feeling creatively constrained by it, unable to fully express myself.
Earlier in life when painting I enjoyed the feeling of being able to convey onto canvas anything I wanted without restriction. I wanted that same freedom photographically. To achieve this I decided to focus on creating and controlling the subject that was projected to camera. Thus turning the camera into a sort of high tech blank canvas. This was a eureka moment but it was definitely a journey to get it right. Once I felt I had developed a solid working method I dropped commercial photography all together and decided to only focus on fine art work.
TJ: Visually my photographs could fall into a number of existing genres. Early on I studied many of these trying to find a fit for my imagery but none of them truly encompassed my work in its entirety. After dissecting my work visually and technically I decided to classify it as “Photographic Surreal Impressionism”. This classification signifies that the images are created with a camera and conveys a personal interpretation of a subject in the same dreamlike way it is mentally imagined.
I also gave a title to the process used to create the work, “The Liberum Method”. Based on the philosophy of subject creation rather than subject documentation this method is all about manifesting what is portrayed to the camera. Liberum is Latin word meaning free and unrestricted. This simple definition truly represents what my work is all about.
TJ: Without photography my body of work could not exist. The camera has the unique ability to capture and portray a moment in time precisely the way it was. No other artistic medium can truly do this with the same sense of honesty that photography can. Using the camera allows me to convey this sense of moment through my imagery. When you are viewing one of my photographs you know that you are viewing something that was real and existed for a moment in time. This helps to convey a sense of honesty and provides a more organic feel to the work. that would not be possible without the element of integrity that a camera can offer.
TJ: It was overwhelming. I would be lying if said I didn’t know this would be hot issue but I did not expect the volume of responses I received. My inbox was filled with responses. As you might expect I received a good bit of harsh criticism, some of which was very “colorfully” worded. On the other hand I found many like minded artists in my corner. The majority seemed to agree that there was a difference in what we have traditionally called photography and digital-art that should be better defined.
I actually believe this debate is more relevant to the public than the artists creating the work. The photographer produces the image but the viewer is subjected to it. One example of this is the effect that over processed fashion/glamour images have on the audience. How many people, especially young persons, have made themselves sick both mentally and physically trying to look like the models in these “photographs”? When in reality these images have been so heavily edited that they are more like paintings rather than photographs.
TJ: I am/have always been a bricks and mortar type of guy. Most of my efforts have been in trying to get my work shown in either physical form or in print. While I have always understood the importance of a personal website I was a nonbeliever in the power of social media and neglected the use of it in the early stages of my career. This was a mistake.
After eventually being persuaded that I should have some kind of social presence I realized how wrong I had been. In the two years since I started a blog and became active on various social media sites I have been awakened to there power. Solely through these online tools I have had multiple opportunities including write ups, magazine features, exhibitions, meeting some great people and even the chance to do this interview. Many times these have lead directly or indirectly to relationships with new collectors. Had I not has a social presence these opportunities would have never presented themselves.
All that being said I am still a brick and mortar type guy. I don’t think an image posted on a webpage can ever be as compelling as seeing the physical piece in person.
TJ: It seems like every time I finish a successful shoot I come away with a new favorite. If I had to name one that stands out to me it would be, “Tracey Did I Lock The Door, Are You Sure?”. Completed in 2009 this photograph represents one of the first times that my philosophy towards image making and my experimental techniques truly came together harmoniously. At the time this image vindicated, for me personally, the direction I was taking creatively.
TJ: The term photography implies a process that is fundamentally understood by most people. The loose application of that term is misleading to the viewer and breeds a mistrust towards the photographic medium. I am not suggesting that a photograph itself need be honest or anything like that. Only that the photographer/artist be so regarding their creative process.
SD: Thanks for that. This is an exciting time for impressionist photography and I am looking forward to seeing where you take your vision.
You can learn more about Taylor Jojorian’s photographs on his webstite at taylorjphoto.com, his blog taylorjorjorian.wordpress.com an intersting piece in Nashville Arts Magazine and Lenswork Magazine Vol 102.
words where not quoted © stephen d’agostino
images © taylor jorjorian
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.
There are dozens of really talented photographers posting photo impressionistic images on photo sharing sites such as flickr and 500px. Here is a selection of images which that have been tagged “photo impressionism” sorted using flickrs’ interestinglyness algorithm or in the case of 500px, votes.
I think they are inspiring.
Use the links below to view the images.
If you don’t follow David duChemin, you should. A great photographer with lots to say.
duChemin has just announced the release of an e-book focussed on abstract and photo impressionistic images. You can find the post at http://davidduchemin.com/2014/04/impressions-abstracts/ I am looking forward to reading it.
So why photo impressionism:
I had an experience with a painting – to say I merely looked at it wouldn’t do the moment justice – that made me wonder whether my own work created a similar experience in others, and if not – which is what I suspected – why not, and was there a way I could do that?
An interesting side bar; based on the file names, the images in the duChemin’s post are from his iphone.
Since writing this post duChemin has published The Visual Imagination. I hope to review it soon. Till then you can find it at:
Vol 6 of Photograph is out and features a great portfolio/article on Hal Eastman. You can buy a copy at http://craftandvision.com/products/photograph-no-6.
Eastman’s portfolio focuses on slow shutter ICM images. They are really quite ethereal; almost painterly. The portfolio alone is worth the $8 magazine price.
The portfolio is drawn from two recent collections. I prefer the “Natural Dance” images over his “Horse Rider” collection. The slow shutter adds to the mystery created by his use of natural locations. Because of the trees they have me thinking of Emily Carr although the subject matter is very different.
And don’t forget about the words. Eastman’s interview offers a glimpse into his process and creative ideology. Definitely worth a look.
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.