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.IMG_4040IMG_4040GSThis 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.

Stay tuned to this gripping story as it progresses.IMG_4087 IMG_4096

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White Pictures

White Pictures is exactly that. Photographs of white objects. I keep imagining these on a white background and then maybe overexposed in processing. These would be printed large and the subjects would be very pedestrian, very commonplace.

There are two objects that have stuck in my head; the white little table that comes in take-out pizza packaging to keep the roof of the box from screwing up the cheesy goodness, and a set of old school 1960s style white metal extendable curtain rods.  Today I was thinking that maybe white Styrofoam take-out food containers could work as well. Thinking about it further, there are tons of other things that would work and are typically white like;  a ream of paper or crumpled up paper, cotton balls, t-shirt, underwear, string or thread, salt, flour, milk, bowls and plates, bar of soap, etc. I could even try –miracle of all miracles–using a different lens. I very, very rarely take the 16-35 off my camera, however I’m thinking I could do some macro stuff out of focus for this series.

As for the exhibition I’d like to cover the floor in white material, use white floating frames and mount the work on Stonehenge gator-board that will be white.

I’m not quite sure what this about but the thought of having these pictures of things you can barely see hung in a room that’s blindingly white would be cool.

I think these are indirectly about Tom Friedman. I’ve always liked his work, but only ever seen it in a book. In the Taschen book about him it explains that one of his very early pieces –for art school I think– involved painting his studio all white and removing perspective and depth in an actual space. I’m probably mangeling the description of his work. I looked at that book about 20 years ago, although in hindsight it has a lot to do with what I’m interested in now.


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