Friday, February 11, 2011

Altered Photography Workshop - Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

On Sunday, I switched venues and taught at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center.  On a record-setting low temperature degree day (-9 overnight), what better place to be than creating in a creative environment?  Here's the work from the day...

This was Jaclyn's first attempt.  Wow!  Enough said.

I love the harsh, graphic background of this against the softness and color of the flowers.  Jaclyn is a high school student in a rural district.  She told me that she doesn't have much exposure to art at her school.  Her grandparents, on the other hand, are well known artists in the area and certainly provide her with inspiration and the inclination to create.

Jill is an excellent photographer to begin with so she had to work with idea of making an already good photo interesting in another way.  She worked larger (8 x 10, I think).  The flower bloom on the left was stunning in its new bluish, pink color and her background was beautiful.  The scratched in flower to the far left was a try at eliminating a flower that was already there in the photo.  I don't think she likes this part of her work as much.  But, now she can scan the photo and crop that part of it out.  Magic!

Compare this finished photo with the one above when it was still work-in-progress.  She used paint markers to adjust her background because the paper/ink combination wasn't taking the watercolors the way it should.  I like how she made lemons out of lemonade and wound up with a photo that pops.

This is the work of Stephanie (in the middle).  She's a senior in High School and takes some photography classes.  What could be better than hanging out at the beach with your friends?  She used it all here:  scratching, sanding, painting, pasteling, markering.  She knows Photoshop so I'm envisioning a scan of this photo with additional digital manipulation.  Cool.

This was also created by Stephanie.  She highlighted Diesel's eyes by painting the background in similar colors.  It also makes the dog pop.  In the original photo the dog was on a boring tan sofa.  Probably a super nice sofa, but not so interesting in the world of altering photos!  Notice the tiny, little holes that outline the dog. 

This photo was altered by Doreen.  Her color palette is much more peaceful and thoughtful than the loud colors I typically go for.  The background on this butterfly photo continued to evolve as the afternoon went on.  She sanded off almost all the background of the original photo but left just enough to make it interesting.  At first quite flat with only one/two colors, it changed as she slowly layered watercolor, oil pastels, more watercolor and a bit more.  Very nice!
Doreen was experiencing problems with the photos she brought because of the way they were developed with indestructible paper/ink.  So, she tried one of my photos and did a great job with it.

This is the work of Molly.  She has taken another class from me and I've come to know her through other avenues as well.  She is a fun lady with lots of talent.  This is Devil's Tower, Wyoming.  She has worked the entire photo by scratching into the Tower, sanding on a texturing plate for the sky then carefully adding color in the spots she wanted it.  The result is that the photo is more powerful than it's 4" x 6" size would indicate.  It think it's great.

If you've read through all the captions you've probably noticed that there were a couple of glitches with the developing of some of the pictures.  As an instructor, this is so frustrating.  As a student, this is so frustrating.  I feel like I know the techniques I'm teaching pretty well and then a wrench is thrown into the works.  We adjusted.  Jill and Doreen were patient.

If you're interested in altering photos you need to know what's going on in the world of photo developing.  In the past, photos were developed and after time they would fade.  A drop of water could ruin a picture in seconds.  Photos were easily destructed.  Now, like all technology advancing at the speed of light, photo developing has changed.  HP features photo developing that is guaranteed not to fade for 200 years.  Other companies are doing all they can to progress as well.  For 99.9% of the market these are good/great improvements.  For those of us purposely trying to destroy aspects of the photos this becomes a huge problem. 

I think/I hope everyone went home with an understanding of how to alter photos by hand, despite some photo developing issues.  What fun it can be!



michiganme said...

I love these photos Lorrie--from both the Battle Creek & Kazoo workshops. This was one of my favorite classes - you are such a good teacher. The perfect mix of guidance and encouragement!

michiganme said...

Oops, I forgot to sign my name to previous comment. Molly :)

Joanne Huffman said...

More great work from your teaching!

Kathy L said...

Hmm that is really interesting about the developing inks used today. I wonder what my HP inks would do. Guess I will experiment !

The Geeks said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)

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