Sunday, September 20

Yellow Plus Blue

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Hmmm... Is there a difference between discovery and creativity in art? Lemme try that differently. Is it all about process or maybe its more about concept? Okay... okay... still not clear, right? Sigh. When Michelangelo decided to pull 'David' out of that enormous hunk of stone... well, how much did he know before he began hammering? Had he imagined the boy/man and then dug him free from the marble? Or did he find him as he chiseled away pieces of rock?

I started this concept out by watching a man on West Chestnut Street in downtown Lancaster. And I used my EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens to snag him free of the crowd. Then I went to work in PS/CS4 to reveal his character which originally attracted my lens - by building up tonal maps that let me dig into shadows and highlights. But as he emerged on my digital palette he demanded a setting. A moment... Yeah, his presence was the concept but the process wanted a place to both compliment and amplify it.

And I thought of the rugged coasts of Northern California where the yellows of the hillsides complimented the yellow of the guy's shirt. And then... then... a palette of yellows and blues all seemed exactly correct - perfect to balance the way that the coastline seemed too romantic for this portrait. So... so... process led to discovery. And where does creativity come to visit? Maybe that's a judgement for the visitor to make? Maybe we cannot conclude we are creative, merely presenters or discoverers... eh?

A FOOTNOTE: I built this image yesterday but before writing this tiny essay I rode my bike through Musser Park, next to my home here in Lancaster. And there on a gorgeous Sunday were two young painters from the Pennsylvania College of Art And Design each working in palettes of blues and yellows. While we each discovered very different images, I wonder. Is there a yellow/blue something in the air here in the Historic District? Cool.

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Here's an image of the coastline which is really the result of three virgin images stitched together into a pano in Photoshop, which were taken with my Canon 20D through its EF-S 10-22mm (f3.5-4.5) at approximately the same time as mu subject on an equally sunny day.

4 comments:

Ángel Corrochano said...

Parece salido de un cuadro de "El Greco"

Cordiales saludos

Ted said...

¡WOW! Su trabajo es clásico místico… Pero su control de la gama de colores es legendario. Gracias por la comparación.

Andreas said...

It's not only that. As I always say, there is something random in the process. You wouldn't do it the same way twice. On another day you feel different about the ingredients, you have different associations, and the result will naturally be different. One of my recent images, "1063 - Past In Present II", the Plac Novy in Kasimierz, Kraków, was never meant to be B&W. I took the image in color, it was a beautiful, sunny day with blue sky that contrasted wonderfully with the warm reds of the bricks, but having been in Auschwitz the day before, and knowing this to be a former Jewish market, turned the experience around. I wanted the image to kind of hang between the times, and when I finally tried B&W, and when I used this split-tone: it did!

Had we chosen to visit Auschwitz two days later, this image would very likely have been in color :)

April said...

"Is there a difference between discovery and creativity in art?"

How timely... Trying to identify my personal "mission statement", it keeps coming back to the word "discovery" -- whether in the field or through post-processing.

Which also has to involve exploration...

I always enjoy your thought-provoking images and discourse!