Sunday, April 15, 2007

symbiotic blurring

acid drops (II) (by ~ fernando)

«acid drops II»

It has been bugging me for a while, that there has to be much more than blurring in the lens. While I have liked the results with Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall, and other applications of such a technique, it also opened up for something to continue. Frank Gehry's recent buildings are perhaps the easiest to learn how to tame the "blurred in the lens" approach that does not involve a consistent "focused at twice infinity" concept for emphasizing the form, as pursued by Hiroshi Sugimoto.

The blurring to obtain the lines is the first step in this approach I take. The second one is to dodge and burn (locally) to enhance the shapes. In a way, it is un-blurring some detail but still in the form of a shape. This may be best exemplified with the photos of the Flat Iron building, where I burned and dodged to bring out the silhouettes from the windows.

Aside from this emphasis, there was something else that the technique could bring, especially in the Frank Gehry case. The smoothness of the segments was crying out for some texture, but noise was too much of cliché, and not really apt. The gradients in light caused by his non-flat surfaces (and photographed late in the day), would serve another purpose. The Flat Iron building still gives a sense of scale, but the Gehry photos do not: this is when it struck me that an overlay of another image would be something to try.

At first, it was a way to enhance the Gehry image with some subtle detail from another scale, as in a close or macro image, rich in detail and texture. As I worked on the image above, I realized that it was forcing me to look at it more as a symbiosis. That is, the Gehry abstract gained from the texture offered by the rusty-iron abstract, and the rusty-iron abstract gained from the light gradients to be painted differently than the natural rusty red. Furthermore, the light shapes from the Gehry image made brings a sense of mutual harmony to both.

An appeal of this technique, in having practiced with an entirely different image, «Paris and Rome» that has both images with much detail, is that it is not a script: each image must be processed individually, with an abstract/imaginative idea guiding what it is done. In any exploration, I am worried of coming to a technique that involves some (clever) button being pushed, as it almost feels with blurring in the lens.