Musician Zak Skinner performs at last fall’s Porchfest held along Jefferson City’s gorgeous Forest Hill Avenue. When my sweet wife was an even sweeter little girl growing up here, she wanted to live in a home along Forest Hill Avenue when she grew up. Today, she lives with me on the other side of town along a street with no sidewalks in a 23-year-old, vinyl-sided house of limited old-tyme charm. But, hey, she’s got me!
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I’ve written before that the more unique are the elements of a photographic capture the less room the artist has to take that capture into new visions. The elements themselves predominate both the composition and the artist’s technique. In this case, a bubble machine had been placed near Zak, so the bubbles dominated the scene visually. I isolated nearly every bubble and pulled both the bubbles and the background into their own files, applied different techniques to each seeking to better saturate the bubbles but not the background, then blended both files back into the original. Finally, I pulled Zak out of the composite entirely and created yet another file which desaturated and de-emphasized the buildings in the far background and blended that one back in; this helped Zak himself stand out; albeit, it also added some graininess in the background, but I think it works. All that effort created a work that is closer to realism (or perhaps surrealism) than abstraction. But that’s the nature of a capture with strong visual elements; the artist is essentially along for the ride.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.