This series reminded me of John Stezaker’s collages in which he cuts up and joins old found photos. I don’t understand his intent although I enjoy the results. Anna Pantelia’s photographic manipulation seems more fluid, and interesting in a different way. She states that “This project was an experiment on how the urban landscape can coexist with portrait and create a interesting visual effect as the stability of buildings combined with the stability of portraits because of the pose”. So her definition of a portrait assumes a posed photo where the subject must remain still, and superimposing a building on top of a “portrait” in some ways compares or contrasts a building’s stability with a person’s. I wonder if she’s been in India where building stability cannot always be assumed? Anna likes to ask “so what?” when looking at photos, and her images make a good case for doing so.
Manipulation #2 – Land over sea by Giordano Aita
A straightforward combination of two different images that implies a future state where we can harness to something above the clouds, a space ship, or satellite of some sort.
You can’t see the detail in this link but I saw some of Burtynsky’s work in the Photographer’s Gallery last year and a tutor pointed out the degree of manipulation that was involved in creating such a large print, with incredible front-to-back sharpness across a huge area. The line defining acceptable darkroom-like tonal adjustments from a shift with reality becomes more indistinct here, and the purpose of the photo has to be taken into account, unless you’re just enjoying the image as I was initially. In this speedway you can almost make out the faces of individual mechanics, drivers, and officials lining up several hundred metres away. Sebastião Salgado provides similar detail in his Amazonian shots in particular where almost every one of a million trees is in focus, and this level of detail is currently very desirable for me. (For my own future investigations is the question of why Salgado is regarded as a Master and Burtynsky is not.)
Manipulations #4 – Landscapes
The course lists an exercise where we have to take two photos of the same place but at different exposures, such that the two results can be stitched together so as to show the whole scene as it was seen by the naked eye, which is a completely different mechanism from a camera sensor. Manipulation yes, but who would object? AnselAdams himself used extensive darkroom work to recover(?)/develop his images, the “Moonrise Over Hernandez” for example, which is heavily burned and dodged. Moonrise over Hernandez
Manipulation #5 – HDR
This has undoubtedly has its uses but there is misuse on a massive scale such that HDR = over-processed unreality. I use it myself very occasionally but most people seem to lose all sense of normality eg – HDR example photos
Manipulation #6 – software
This is widely used by fashion magazine to remove wrinkles, creases, fat, and change anything, but just like real plastic surgery it can go badly wrong. I use Portrait Professional sometimes but only to remove blemishes and whiten eyes and teeth. They’re not a real representation but the subjects like them.
This is a photo of a silk screen print but I thought it was a clever idea and worth reproducing by photo manipulation using a horned creature. I have a few deer shots from the British Wildlife Centre that may be suitable, and thousands of flower, shrub and tree shots that be combined in an interesting way. This may only be for whimsical or wall-art purposes but sometimes a social or cultural idea reveals itself as I work on these shots.
Actually not a photo manipulation, it’s an art installation, but could be reproduced as a photo quite easily.