Sunday, April 7, 2013

Venetian Blinds

Being without a fully functioning computer I had to find a way to fill the time and solitaire only works for so long. As most know I also enjoy extreme photo manipulation. I call it extreme because it is impossible (usually) to get any clue as to the original subject matter.

This is actually an extension of randomness. In applying the algorithms I have some idea of what might happen, but no clue as to what is actually going to happen. I was recently asked how I do the manipulations. When I said that I just keep pushing buttons until I find something I like, everyone laughed. But in truth that is what I do. For every keeper there are dozens, if not hundreds, that don't make the grade. Even the keepers will be culled over time.

All four of the following photographs came from a couple of photographs of venetian blinds.


  1. Whoever said photography = reality never met Gary Woodard! HA Glad your computer is up and running again!

  2. Jan, an interesting and appreciated comment. Actually all photography is fiction, I sometimes just stretch it a little. I leaned a new word recently, verisimilitude. It is not in my usage vocabulary because I cannot say it without getting my tongue wrapped around my molars—another stretch.

    Verisimilitude as you probably know means the appearance of reality—what we actually see in photographs when we are unable to see a photograph as a photograph. Remember our long discussions about “the photograph is not the subject (matter)?” We would never look at a painting of a flower and see it as a flower. We see it as an artist’s rendition of a flower. Yet we are unable to look at a photograph of a flower and see it as a photographer’s rendition of a flower. Because of the photograph’s verisimilitude, we see the photograph as though it were the subject matter, a flower. This is an illusion that confuses us as to what a photograph is, which is only line, form, tones and (sometimes) color.

    I have concluded that the vast majority of photographers are happy with verisimilitude. I try to convince myself that is okay, but it is difficult.

  3. that's a word i won't be adding to my vocabulary either, but hopefully i am understanding the point you are making. i easily see it with art but not as easily as with photography since the lens can only capture what is in front of it when the shutter is snapped. of course one photograph can never tell a complete story, but it seems to me that if it is sooc it comes a lot closer to reality than a painting ever could. go ahead, pull the hair out of your head if you need to. lol

  4. I understand. It is a totally different mindset--a totally different way of thinking about a photograph. I have sought assistance in explaining it by quoting knowledgeable writers from photography to art to critics, even Ralph Waldo Emerson. I have begged. I have pleaded. I have torn my hair. It seems to very simple to me. For many years I thought something was wrong with me because I felt so differently about photography. Recently I have been going back reading some of the stuff from Minor White, Lou Bernstein, Ralph Hattersley, stuff I read when I was first getting into photography. It helps me understand my thinking. My mentor was undeniably Ralph Hattersley Jr. For forty years everyone to whom I read portions of Hattersley's writings got angry, made crude or snide remarks, thought both Hattersley and myself were total nuts. So for a very long time I did not share my thinking about photography but recently there are a number of new authors that are writing much the same thing. That gave me some hope that maybe I could find someone that shared my view of photography that would be willing to exchange ideas. I am not really sure that such a person actually exists anywhere near where I am located. So yes, I understand where you are coming from.