The light the camera captures rules completely the nature of any art created from it thereafter. I’ve made the point before – as an artist I simply look into the pixels to find what’s already there and try to bring the art of it to the surface. All the photoshopping in the world will not completely compensate for a badly exposed, poorly composed shot.
The Missouri State Capitol Building, an enormous marble affair finished in 1917, is in the midst of a $50-odd million-dollar restoration. At the very top of the 238-foot Capitol dome is a bronze statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. Ceres has been struck by lightening dozens of times over the last century; her skin is pocked and discolored because of it. As part of the restoration, she has been hauled down to great ceremony, wrapped in the Missouri State flag, in order to be bundled off to a Chicago company that will bring her back to full glory. Several thousand people surrounded the Capitol to watch the descent.
I shot photographs with little intention of doing anything with them other than marking the moment. I’m not a photographer – I’m just a punky photo artist – and I don’t possess the ungodly expensive equipment that would allow me to properly zoom into the subject. But that’s the thing; as an artist I’m looking at levels a photographer might not be. Deep into the pixels …
The effect used here is one I’ve only been able to apply a few times – it requires particularly high contrast and direct light. But in this case, it worked. The colors require additional techniques to accomplish the soft pastels I wanted to bring out. It was by sheer luck that I happened to capture the airplane floating past in the background but the act of capturing the original photograph is part of what makes this so much fun.
It was more a social affair than a photographic one. The thousands of us gathered waited for hours in chilly air before workers finally lofted the lady into flight. Everyone remarked in awe that it was a sight they would never see again in their lifetimes.
Folks … she’s gotta go back up.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.