Thursday, December 6, 2007

Some more photomanipulation

Another piece, one that I'll play around with a little more, from my gallery space on DeviantArt. Let's call this one of the gifts of poverty. Maybe.

Image links to DeviantArt page.What I would really like, among so many other things many of which I would like even more, is access to a darkroom, but I can't afford that, so I have to rely on Osco, which means assembly line service. For example, I brought in a shot I took along Broadway of a neo-baroque building whose ornamentation was brought out by the shadows cast by the setting sun and they developed it as if I had shot it at noon, "compensating" by lightening the image until they had washed almost all of the color out of it. One might imagine that the sight of a clearly shining street lamp in the picture would have tipped off the developer that this image had obviously been shot later in the day, but she was probably too rushed to notice. The image was ruined.

Further, as is so often the case, my handicap gets in the way. I can't drive, which means that even if I could afford a tripod, I would have trouble taking it everywhere I went - try carrying even a small object in your hands for a few miles and see how heavy it gets. You'll be surprised. This becomes a nuisance, because low light conditions are common in Chicago. That doesn't always keep me from getting a shot - if one finds something to brace oneself against, sometimes one can steady oneself enough to compensate for long exposures - but again, a lot of blurring occurs. These factors have left me with a wealth of ruined pictures which I'm loath to just throw out.

But the good news is that with the scanner comes an earlier release of Photoshop, and what would have been wasted shots proved, very often, to be a good starting point for image manipulation. Had I the money for my own darkroom, if I had motorized transportation to help me get around - then I'd probably have had lots and lots of nice, clean, crisp, well developed shots and no urge to repair them with software that in some ways, proved unsatisfactory, leading me in simple frustration to acknowledge the unreality of the whole process in the final result, pushing the images in the direction of surrealism or outright abstraction. Had I a little more money, I suppose that I might have gotten a later, better release, ... and so it goes.

Not that I wouldn't rather be gainfully employed, of course, but it is always a pleasant surprise when one is blessed by one's bad luck.