Monday, 23 May 2011

New Work - Industrial Processing

Nearly two weeks since my last has been busy! Happily though, I've been able to put some time into new work and not been completely consumed by the day job. One of the things I was looking forward to after moving from the empty expanses of Suffolk countryside, was photographing the industrial architecture and landscapes of my new home in the North West. These images are some of the first results of that endeavour.
The Potential Difference I     2011
I've also been experimenting with some post-processing to create specific atmospheres for these photos. HDR is in danger of becoming a cliché it seems (and with so much of it being overdone to the point of ridiculousness, that's not surprising). I don't want to go down that route, but the techniques intrigue me, and there can certainly be creative validity to it. So instead of running my photos through a piece of $30 software, I've taken a little time to more gently and carefully alter the work, hopefully with some success.
The Potential Difference II     2011
The idea of photographic purism doesn't interest me in the slightest. In fact, since the advent of Photoshop and high-quality digital equipment, I think it's an irrelevance. If one chooses to place artificial limitations on oneself instead of using the tools available to express one's creativity, that's fine. But don't preach to me about my work having less validity because I have taken the image from the camera and turned it into something different.
England's Green and Pleasant     2011
It's certainly possible to go too far, and it's certainly true that post-processing won't (in most cases) turn a bad photograph into a good one. But then, much of this is subjective. Personally, my aim when shooting is to achieve the composition I want (and I don't always follow the 'rules' on that either)...but what I do with the raw image I capture is determined not by artificial restraints, but by my creative concept and vision.
Black Gold, Black Sky     2011
These images are post-processed in this way for a very specific reason, because the contrast between the skies and the man-made elements is enhanced and emphasised, and the effect of our presence on the environment is dramatised. In the last two, of the Stanlow oil refinery at Ellesmere Port, this concept is distilled into a depiction of the industry and landscape both in harmony and in opposition, the sky itself seemingly created by the smokestacks of the giant plant below.

Less valid than an unaltered photograph? Some may think so. I think not.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting thoughts! I spent quite some time a few years ago playing with HDR techniques, all through whichever PS version I had at the time. Your industrial images suit the technique well.

    I live in the North West too and would love to go to Suffolk where I have never been!