Why photograph the oddest things?

 

Jasper 2011

Why photograph the oddest things?

I am on holidays and yet I find myself shooting the oddest things, surfaces mostly. It’s something I do on every trip I take. When people watch where I point my very large and clearly pro camera, they walk away shaking their heads.

I look for odd objects, strange doors and windows, textures on walls or mountain sides. I have a huge collection of them, labeled by country, tagged by type.Italy2012

They have made me a lot of money, that satisfies the mercenary in me. They have also ignited and satisfied the creative drive in me.

They transform into texture overlays for my images. The oddest things can transform an image that seems incomplete into a fascinating work of art. The textures age the image or give it the character it needs to transcend into an image a client has to have, or one that a judge will score and comment on.

Some of them become the elements that clarify or enrich the story in the image. Occasionally you can build whole images using just these random pieces.

Each location even the time of year, lend a consistent air to the collection from that trip. For example, the textures I captured in Italy, the colours, cracks, even the stains are a stark contrast to the ones I am capturing here in Jasper Provincial Park.

I photographed a small emerging tree last night on Spirit Island at the end of Maligne Lake. Really it was a tiny slender thing with several orange leaves on it. The settling sun energized the dying leaves. I can take this, put it way out of focus for a wonderful background to float an image on, ideal for an album page.

Take these odd things into Photoshop, place them above your image, then play with the layer modes, combining them with a mask then tweaking the opacity. Try it with two differing textures, you will be amazed what magic happens.Lara Art

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