Sunday, July 07, 2013

2BD19 Finding My Style : Rust and Grunge

For this week's lesson, Kim asked us to post a photo (or two) that captures our own unique photographic style.  It's pretty clear that my own style is very different from the light, airy, dreamy flower pics that Kim takes--or most of my fellow 2B classmates, for that matter.  That's not a criticism--just a simple recognition that we're different.  I prefer vibrant, saturated colors, grunge and texture.  Rural decay, as opposed to urban decay.  I think my favorite Blend mode is Multiply.  Don't get me wrong : I like the flower pics, too--I just don't think I'd call it MY style.  Differentiation is GOOD!  That makes the world infinitely more interesting!

I grew up on an old farm in the country of northern Wisconsin.  We had old farm machinery like this on the property--mostly laying out in the woods to rust in perpetuity.  Junk--not even Junque back then.  Although I can't say I appreciated these rusting hulks as a kid, they were always there and they became familiar to me all those years.  Now, I love not only the rust, but the elegance of the design of these old machines.  Once in a while, my Dad would pull one out, oil it up, attach the power take-off and put it back to work.  All those moving parts working for a united purpose ...  The marvel of engineering!  (I have to say I have a NEW appreciation for the safety features of modern-day equipment, too, as that was not a consideration in the old days.  Plenty of farming accidents attest to that--my own family included.   My great Grappa Albert Smitmajer lost a hand in a power take-off back in the day ...  Eeesh!)

Here's the original photo, made black-and white.  I found this beauty at the edge of the field used for a parking lot at the Door County Ren Faire a few weeks ago.  If you look closely, you can see modern-day cars parked in the field in the background.  A nice contrast of old and new.

Photo Processing Layer-by-Layer :
1) Background image
2) Gradient Map - Black > White
3) RadLab : BAMF BW - Old Skool - Meadowlark - AntiqueTone - Technicolor Dream World
4) Nancy Clayes Texture Arapaho - Soft Light 100%
5) Text - Palatino and Buttercream
6) Color Fill Frame - Black - Soft Light 71%

The quote comes from a young woman named Etta Turner (fascinating and sad story).  I volunteer for the order of nuns who founded my Hospital.  This quote was on the wall in their craft room yesterday.  I thought it was very fitting for this 2B lesson about finding your own style.  (The older retired nuns in their 90s often still wear a modified habit.  That uniform makes them more-or-less the same as all the other Sisters.  Back in the day, conformity was key in the religious community.  No one was supposed to stand out.  That is -- until you actually get to know them, and you realize how different each Sister really is.  They all have their own personalities--as you would expect!)

Here's another photo that says Michele at Sweet Leaf.   It's a photo from our wood pile in the driveway.  I took it last year for The Beyond Layers lesson about Shapes in our natural surroundings.  Yes, we heat our house with wood in the winter months.   The wood has so much rich texture in the wood grain, end cuts, bark and lichens.  That contrasted with the metal wash basin.  We use this to cover the engine of the wood splitter, to keep rain water out of the gas tank.  This photo is pretty much straight out-of-the-camera.  Not a lot of neutral space to add layers of texture or words.

Last fall, I did a photo project with Vasalisa and her Flaming Skull Torch, based on on old and favorite folk tale about Baba Yaga.  This was a lot of fun to do, and took a lot of planning to scout out the scene, plan the day, coordinate with the model, get the costumes and props ...  I would love to do more like this --  illustrating stories and faery tales.  It's such a deep and recognizable well to draw from ...   I would love for this to become my signature style.  ;-)

Beyond Layers


The Idaho Beauty said...

I didn't grow up around farm machinery, but as an adult, I've often found it quite fascinating. All those interesting shapes creating intriguing patterns, all those moving parts. You've done well with your captured beauty!

Anonymous said...

You have definitely got your own style. Congratulations on finding your own voice.