Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chaos, Cacophony and Color

I've been yakking about finding the center point of the shot and drawing the viewer's eye to that area. Sometimes the biggest thing the photographer has to figure out is what is the "focus" of the image. The shot accompanying today's post is of the inside of the Port Clyde General Store. The outside can be found in the center of the banner of this blog. It was also the first ever post here. So, what is it we're looking at in this shot. It certainly isn't the bottles of Aquafina (r) water for $.99 in the back refrigerator case. It's probably not the eggs or the butter, the 12 packs of soda or the Ortega jerky snacks. It's color. You can find just about any color of the rainbow here. Is this a saleable print? Probably not (unless you happen to own the store). It's just fun. It's an exploration of how far the colors can be pushed before it becomes a cartoonish "illustration".

In the original you can enlarge parts of the shot to see the labels on the stock (to a point). If you enlarge the image (in the original, I wouldn't bother trying it in the web quality image here) you can make out the fact that it is Aquafina water. That the red sticker says it cost 99 cents, but you almost have to squint your eyes and select just the right amount of enlargement to make it out. It kind of makes me think of the difference between a "photograph" and a "digital painting". The absolute master of digital painting is, in my opinion, Bert Monroy. (Bert's name is a link to his website.) Featured on his site is his work titled "Damen". Click on the "Take a Closer Look at Damen" link. Although the image looks like a stylized photograph, it's actually created by hand, each piece faithful down to the last nut, bolt or piece of rust. The "Depth of Field" is 100%, front to back. You can't get as much detail in a photograph as Bert produces in his work. Check out the size of the finished image. Just to put it in a frame of reference, he's now working on his next painting (about Times Square) that makes Damen look small.

The object of today's ramble is that the person playing with the pixels has to make choices, to make compromises, to decide what the important part of the shot is. In the case of today's image, it's color. A celebration of color. A riot of color. Color for color's sake. Sometimes we don't need to be moved by an image, we just want to be tickled by it.