Cornell Univeristy Techniques in Visual Representation (2014)
New York, New York
Image 3 - Reduction
Assignment: take a photo and then perform a series of modifications to transform it
In the age of digital photography, contemporary artists range in approach from no digital touch ups to carrying out entire transformations of images. The below exercise is a study in the latter. The photograph taken is just the beginning; it is the canvas onto which the paint is applied.
I start with a view from the Charles Street Pier looking south towards the Financial District, the scene is transformed from the mundane to the surreal using only basic Photoshop techniques.
- Never Yesterday ︎︎︎
The canopy installation in the original photograph serves as the focal point and organizational structure of the image. The foreground and background dance around the staccato rhythm of support posts. Image Two is a composite image reflecting the passage of time from right to left; the posts represent discrete jumps in lighting whereas the sky beyond is a subtle gradient. Image Three removes all unnecessary detail and distills the composition to a series of uninterrupted horizontal stripes: grass, water, skyline, canopy, open sky. Image Four reappropriates the canopy installation as a new means of occupying the space; the ground plane becomes precious.
Image Five - Transformation into Something New
Finally, Image Five extends the boundaries of the scene and imagines a panoramic and even more surreal landscape. The floating canopy surfaces were just the beginning; here, they break out into the endless horizon. It extrapolates the feeling of release at the end of a dense city fabric where the concrete meets the river; a known dense world on the left, and an open unknown extending infinitely to the right.