Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fortune wheel - One cent, no springs!

This one went thru quite a metamorphosis, it started out as a digital sketch:


Made w/ this neg: 


and a Nevada landscape.


I printed this (as a sandwich), scanned it, and then went to work on it digitally:



Then i did an about-face, and combined the fortune wheel w/ another neg., a cactus close-up:


Once again, a darkroom sandwich. It's got a mysterious shimmering quality to it, the viewer is focused on two things simultaneously, each struggle to command our attention.
Yes, i did some detail coloring before i went full tilt into digital color overall.


Here's where you can go to see the screen shot larger, and download a small PSD file, this one is not complicated at all:



Why do i like the fortune wheel?

..... i like thinking about the questions on the wheel, and the answers to them.

"What is my main talent?
What will my wife be like?
How will I get rich?
Will I be happy in marriage?
Will I have a family??"

And contrasted against a vast barren desert landscape?
Life is a blank slate, it can be harsh and unforgiving... or it can be rich, varied, and sometimes hard to decipher, as the second cactus sandwich image is - 'now you see it, now you don't'...

Are you ready for 'more than a few words on the difference between digital coloring and good ol' cotton balls and Q'tips?'
There now, i have already tipped my hand, haven't I?
I have found plenty of images that work... well... pretty well digitally.
And there's the balance that just don't/wouldn't.
Digital is just pixels, 'information' delivered as RGB (red green blue) channels.
Seems to me like the old stuff has a much more subtle palette.
I can't get anything like umber, sienna, ochre, alizarin crimson... out of RGB.
But that won't stop me from tryin' :-)
And every once in a while, I'll search thru the stacks of prints i have, and choose a few to hit with Q-tips and cotton balls.

After many years of making darkroom photomontage (since the late 80's), and not being able to get arrested for it except for a few appearances in competitive group shows, and some assignment illustrations in various magazines ....I am designing & publishing books I make at Blurb with 'Bookify' - two of them are on Amazon, one is at Blurb.


'California Beach Trip':
On Amazon:


'Desert Trip'
On Amazon:


'Seeking the Vibe'
On Blurb:

Previews of all at:

Saturday, October 21, 2017

One thing leads to another....


Here's how one thing leads to another, Even after many years of dormancy.

Over 20 years ago, i did this darkroom montage, one of my most fantastical efforts of all time:


The main part of it is the abandoned storefront in the lower left.


These frames were taken in a desert town that had obviously seen better times. I rounded the corner to this block, and immediately came to a halt - the subject matter was great, the light was damn near perfect, i shot these four frames knowing they would end up in something good.
I never hand-colored the print - it was one that was perfect as monochrome, i left it that way.

Then a few years ago I came cross the contact sheet again, and thought "hey, i could do something with that storefront that i shot dead on, top left".
What could i montage it with?.... Hmmm........

I seem to have found that what makes a montage interesting is to combine two images that are very different, contrasting.
So i chose this rock wall from Joshua Tree:


Here's the B&W print that came out of it:


This time round, i went for color - digital color, since the print was on a paper that doesn't take coloring well. And i thought gradients would work well here, and P'shop does *grrrr-eat*gradients.
I started w/ basic large areas coloring - a HS layer for an overall sepia tone.  
But i erased the effect from a couple of boarded up windows.



OK, that's a start - what next? The image works horizontally - the edge of town dissolves into the rocky desert. I erased the color selectively from the boarded up windows, one at a time, each time i wanted to continue that idea to the next window.
Then a blue gradient for the sky, that i erased from the buildings, but left in the windows.


Since the image flows from left to right, the small narrow sliver of the building at the left seemed to call for some 'brick' color. And then the tree at lower rt. balanced that, becoming green.
Last but not least, the shade in the door needed some red, and the gull, top lft,  needed to pop a bit.
I also added a SC layer to the rocks, affecting only the black, making the shadows blue. Now i've an image that keeps your eyes moving around, all the various colorings bounce off each other, it's a far cry from the B&W.



To see the images and the layer palette larger:


Next post, a fortune telling wheel, an old fashioned thing, i had a good time with it!