“An Artificial Response to Natural Color”

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This was an assignment for Surface studio dealing with found color and the organization and display of color in some coordinated system. I was excited for this assignment as it was the first which I was really able to incorporate photography directly.

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The finished product was a print roughy 16″ high by 14′ long comprised of vertical bands extracted from a variety of abstract landscapes I’ve been shooting over the past month. Some of it, mostly the greens, comes out of the Forest in Motion series I posted a little while ago, almost all of the water was shot at Belle Isle.

While shooting gave me most of the basic color and form for the pieces of the image, editing gave each vertical band the push in the right direction it needed, color wise, to fit naturally into the spectrum. While I refrained from outright colorization (except for in some of the purples and violets), it was interesting to me to see how some of the water images needed only slight nudges in one direction or the other in order to fall into either blue or cyan. This is where the title comes from, while I worked entirely with natural forms, my response was decidedly artificial: in order to yield the vivid spectrum it was necessary to edit the natural colors, which were typically very subdued.

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This was the first time I’ve ever worked on a project with a print in mind as the finished product. It was a unique experience in many regards. My studio teacher repeatedly reminded me to keep in mind how the colors would translate to print rather than my computer screen (although I had an excellent printer who very accurately captured the color on screen). There was also the huge logistical issues of what to do with a 14′ print. I had aspirations fairly late in the project of somehow mounting the print onto a circular form in order to make it continuous. My studio teacher and I agreed it would be difficult (especially that late in the project), although it did come up in critique that it would be beneficial to integrate it into architecture. At the very least, my professor was critical of the decision to mount it on the wall with tacks and a border. She was saying a print this large almost becomes an object more than an image, and the removal of the border and more consideration on how it was installed would improve the piece. Again, this is a new aspect of thought in photography, and one I’m excited to explore.

 

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