I’m fixated on Sunlight. I’m not sure where and when this began, but the ancient bottles of hand washing soap are intriguing me lately. I’ve bought a few and started fooling around with them.
There are two sizes. The smaller size has a traditional label that’s stuck onto the container in the manufacturing process. The larger has screen printed graphics applied directly to the plastic bottle.
My original thinking was that these would play a part in a still-life project I’m working on that plays with the deceptive nature of photography in a post-Photoshop world. These still-life projects would involve protracted analog procedures set up to mimic simple Photoshop effects. The first one I’m continually planning and thinking about is to paint objects to resemble their monochromatic Photoshop versions or in plainer english paint stuff in black and white and then shoot it in colour, the result will “look” black & white. I’ve been planning this in response to some recent debates and my own feelings about the belief some photographers have, that black and white prints immediately suggest that the work in question is artistic.
This first pair of images are a study for the end project. The monochromatic version of the bottle in the second image is achieved by removing the colour saturation of the original image in Photoshop. The plan is to print this Photoshopped photograph and then use that as a tonal guide to paint the actual yellow bottle in grey-scale to match. Then I’d photograph the painted object again in colour and print that. The result will be an object painted black and white but depicted in a colour photograph.This project will be better without the labels. I think everyone can tell what the object is without the branding. Below is an image of the smaller bottle with the label removed which works well. The second image below is the larger bottle. I can’t just paint in acrylic over the existing label. I tried that and acrylic paint just doesn’t stick to plastic so the shot below shows me applying a gesso base that I hope will prepare the surface of the plastic to accept the yellow, and then black and white paint better.