Photoelasticity also know as birefringence is the effect created using a polarizing filter while photographing transparent plastic with polarized light. This photography trick is fairly easy to do. You just need polarized light, clear plastic, and a polarized filter for your camera. Luckily the source of polarized light is readily available. Computer screens project polarized light. I just googled white screen to make a bright background for my plastic items, placed the items in front of the screen and shot them with a polarized filter. If you look up photoelasticity the most common pictures are of clear plastic cutlery, so I decided to start there. Every time I open packaging now I will consider if I want to try this trick.
It’s that time of year where I make my annual trip back to Montana to see my mom and ski Big Mountain. (I guess it’s now called Whitefish Ski Resort… but it will always be Big Mountain to me). The trip as always was too short. I took five days off of work but only really had three days there due to travel. I feel I was able to fit everything in but it was a whirlwind of busy. I took my cameras but didn’t have much time for photography. I did take a couple of pictures, some of air travel, skiing, and stuff around my moms house. The video was just something I made during my four hour layover at SeaTac airport, I included it because I thought it was kind of fun.
“Photomontage is the process and result of making a composite photograph by cutting, glueing, rearranging and overlapping two or more photographs into a new image.”- I took this directly from Wikipedia. The most common way to achieve this in the predigital era was to shoot and print a bunch of photos, and then arrange them on a background. With today’s technology it is easy to import a bunch of photos to a photo editor and create these images. Of course I found an app that made it even easier to create some of these photomontages out of a single picture. The app I used was called Panographic. In creating some of these it has made me want to print out some images and physically create one. Then possibly rephotograph that montage…I’ll keep you updated if this ever does transpire.
The Droste effect is named after a Dutch brand of cocoa. The 1904 packaging of the cocoa depicts a woman holding a tray bearing the cocoa which has a smaller image of her recursively. This effect is related to what is known as “mise en abyme” in the art world. This technique involves placing a copy of an image within itself that suggests infinity. A medieval example is the Stefaneschi Triptych in the Vatican. M.C. Escher also used this effect in his 1956 lithograph “Print Gallery.”
I have found this effect interesting in the past, it wasn’t until just recently that I learned that it had a name for the phenomenon. I remember in my early film days trying to take a picture using two opposing mirrors creating the infinity view with very little success. With today’s technology it has become easier to digitally enhance photos to create this effect. I only found one app that was fairly suited for this it’s called PhotoSpiralysis. It basically is a fractal generator for repetitive images. I did find the app a bit limiting for creative controls. I couldn’t always get it to do what I wanted. I did find a third party add on for photoshop but I’m still holding out on their expensive subscription plan. I would rather just buy the program and own it then pay 60 dollars a month for the rest of my life.
I had some fun making these. This is what I came up with.
This video reminds me of time travel.
Doing the infinite picture in a picture.
Some of you who follow my blog may have realized it’s been a while since my last post. The weather became cooler, followed by the Holiday season. I haven’t been actively shooting between Thanksgiving and the New Year. I was instead researching what camera I wanted to upgrade to. I went with the Nikon Z 6 mirrorless. A great thing about the hobby of photography is that it satisfies my interest in technology and gadgets, as well as the creative side.
Today’s cameras are really mini computers… and can cost as much. I ended up choosing a mirrorless camera. Briefly… before I was using a DSLR (this style camera has a mirror in it that flips up to expose the sensor much like its predecessor would expose film). What you see in the view finder is a reflection of the mirror. You would then have to look at the screen on the back of the camera to see how your exposure turned out. A mirrorless camera in contrast has a video screen right in the viewfinder. The advantage of this is that you can adjust the picture right in the eyepiece. This allows you to know what the exposure will look like as you take it. This new camera is going to take me awhile to adjust and learn how to use. I’ve already started a bunch of tutorials. This will take up a lot of my free time that I would normally be out shooting photos but I think it will be well worth it in the end. I’ll post what I can when I’ve collected enough material.
I look forward to new challenges in the new year. Here are just a few things I was playing with over the holidays.
This video is also created with the Pivo device.
A few weeks ago I heard a band from my youth Bauhaus was reuniting for a limited appearance reunion show. They only announced three shows all at the Palladium in Los Angeles. I mentioned this to my significant other and how it was too bad I would never get to see them as the concerts had sold out, and that LA is quite a trip from Eugene Oregon. A week later she asked me to find out if I could get a couple of days off work because she had the tickets to the show.
Our trip to Los Angeles was pretty short. We were really just there for two days. We did get quite a lot of tourists stuff done in that time though. I was able to get my camera out to snap some pictures while being tourist.
We were about 6 rows in. My partner had a hard time seeing through people as she is closer to the ground then myself. I had a good view, my legs were quite tired by the end of the show however.
It sure feels like autumn out there. With the change of weather comes fall harvest and stunning colors. Like usual I’ve been busy, I felt like autumn was slipping by me so I grabbed my camera and got out there.
Fair warning there are about double the amount of pictures in this post…and they are mostly just of leaves. I didn’t really think I had anything to share but when I went through the pictures there was enough for two posts.
“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” – Unknown
I found these reading glasses on a hiking trail so I put them in a tree at eye level in hopes someone will find them. I really hope no one is missing them.
This is my favorite. This is also a composite picture. I thought a forest setting was better then the house and fence in the original. The two images blended together nicely though.
I did warn you that there were a lot of leaf pictures… thanks for making it to the end!
I stepped out of my comfort zone this week. I signed up for a photo shoot called creepy dolls. Initially I thought I was just going to take pictures of old creepy figurines. As it got closer I realized I would be taking pictures of live models dressed in full makeup to look like creepy dolls. To heighten my anxiety I would be taking photographs next to professional photographers. I overcame the initial apprehension and made my way to the historic Shelton-McMurphey-Johnson house. (I did a blog on this place about a year ago if you are interested in the history of it). I made a few mistakes.
1. Not staying around longer. Initially there weren’t too many people there and I went around snapping photos. Soon there were a lot of people with their professional lighting gear taking charge and moving the models around. The flight response took over and I left… what I should have done is stayed longer and observed. Since I haven’t had experience taking photos of live subjects I could have learned a lot. You’d think 29 years as a server/bartender would be enough to ease the social anxiety. I think I just put on a persona when I go to work.
2. The second mistake was not getting the model or makeup artists information when I was taking the photos. In hindsight I saw all the models had tags on their wrists… I even took a picture of one. I’m pretty sure that information was on the back side. I will be using the hashtag #creepdolls2019 when posting this to social media and hopefully if any of the people involved want credit they will contact me and I can add that later.
In the limited time I was there I still got a lot of material to work with. Here’s what I came up with.
A composite picture is made of multiple pictures brought together to create a final image. Many times composite pictures will be surreal with two or more pictures in juxtaposition. In today’s modern digital photography, it has become easier and more common place to find this style of photo. Masters of the dark room like Jerry Uelsmann pioneered and inspired this style of photographic artwork.
I’ve generally tried to use just my own stuff in my photos. In order to get an image I want I’ve started to come to the conclusion that there is a reason a lot of these apps have stock footage for your use. I’ll try to identify parts that aren’t my original photos and images.
I didn’t shoot much new stuff this week, but did spend a lot of time manipulating my photos.
At the end is a video I made for work. Hit play and have the volume on.
This is a picture of train tracks I took a while back. The fish and water in the sky were elements I took from an app. I’ve been trying to do water as the sky for quite some time. But since I don’t have underwater photography equipment I haven’t been able to. The stock images made it possible.