Something interesting and provacative has been going on. A camera club colleague, Kathy Lapergola, has been experimenting with overlaying semi-transparent “texture” images, e.g. a whispy curtain, on top of conventional images. This is accomplished using layers in Photoshop. With this process she has achieved some beautiful images which have the appearance of old paintings. Here is an example of her work.
Well, I decided that I had to try this. The image below is one that I captured a few years ago during a twilight sailing event. The colors of the sky, the arrrangement of the boats, and the setting sun’s effect on the sails all added up to produce a lovely image. It already had the cast of a Venentian painting but I felt it might be a candidate for texturing.
Below is the result. I overlaid an image of a soiled and cracked, age-yellowed muslim. Using another Photoshop tool I then reduced the opaqueness of the muslin image, i.e. the top layer, gradually revealing the bottom layer which gradually becomes colored and shaded and marred by the semi-transparent upper layer. The result is an image that looks even more like an old classical painting.
So, a good thing? A bad thing? A pretty thing? Well, consistent with quantum theory I have to say, “It depends.” Certainly the technique can yield some beautiful results. As such, I’d hang them on my wall and would proudly sell them, making it clear that they’re Photographic Compositions and not paintings. Will certain artists and photographers become manic? It’s a given. But, who should care so long as the result is desirable? It’s not the technique that matters; it’s the result!!
Should they be entered in juried photography exhibitions? I’d be nervous about that just as I am about entering images that have been altered such that they show things that weren’t “there” at the moment the shutter snapped. But, I do think that as a photographic art form they can legitimately be offered for a juror to evaluate.
Should they be entered in “art” exhibitions that don’t preclude photography? I certainly think so. A photographic image, per se, can be art depending on its content, composition, tone, and light. This technique just enhances or adds to the underlying image.
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