We packed a lot of learning into my class Monday night. After we were shown how to use contrast filters, and after we tried it, we were taught how to dodge and burn. I had the perfect image to try this on. I took this photo of a statue in the Louvre and since it was lighted from behind it was silhouetted.
I love how low-tech this process is. She simply used her hand to dodge. Or if you can’t use your hand you use one of the handy “tools” which is a small piece of cardboard duck-taped to a wire hanger. That is what I had to use because of where my statue is situated in the photo and because I put the negative in the carrier upside down.
A quick wave over of the statue and, voilà, more information is revealed. Magic.
It will be fun to use this more in the future and, hopefully perfect it. I don’t understand a lot of this at the moment, logically. I feel like I am feeling around in the dark (Actually, that is exactly what I am doing. No metaphor there at all). Hopefully it will feel more natural to me in the near future with practice.
Next week we are learning about photo manipulation. I am not sure, exactly, what that means but I can’t wait to find out!
I had SO MUCH FUN in my darkroom class last night. We explored contrast filters and I really enjoyed the process of watching the image change and improve. Our teacher first had us dive in and make a print. I chose this photo I took of the pyramids at the Louvre. The image below is what I came up with.
Very dark and no whites to speak of. Our teacher decided to use this image as an example to show us how to use the filters. It was an instant improvement and I couldn’t believe it. It was fun because we used the chemistry to develop this (instead of the machine) so I got to watch the image emerge on the paper.
It’s crazy how much of a difference a little contrast can make!
Here is one that I did on my own so I could fix a couple of things and make sure the process sticks in my head.
Now I need to work on getting things straight on the paper. For some reason I am having a really hard time with that part of it. Again, though, it really drives home the importance of getting things right in-camera.
Also, I scanned this image earlier in the day and I have to say that I love the print version better, despite it’s off-centered-ness. Maybe because I made it by hand myself. But I also think it just looks better. The computer screen really doesn’t do it justice.
We also did dodging and burning. I will share my results of that process in my next post.
I wanted to write a substantial blog post but the day got away from me so, instead, I am sharing another photo from our trip. Which, actually, is pretty substantial.
I am back at work this week. It’s hard to come back to work after being somewhere so life-changing and fabulous. I haven’t ever traveled outside the United States and the experience of visiting another country was so amazingly eye-opening. I want more of it! I have been bitten by the travel bug.
I am also completely in love with France. I have always had an interest, being that I am French genetically speaking. I have especially been fascinated by the French Revolution. But now I want to learn more. I am totally fascinated by Paris, the people, the history, everything.
For example, I had no idea the the Louvre was the King’s Castle before it became the Louvre. I just had no idea. I find it fascinating that this is not something that I knew. It is like the revolutionaries took over the castle, opened it up for the people as a museum, and then downplayed the fact that it belonged to royalty. I am kind of thinking that is pretty cool. Fascinating, for sure.
Also, seeing this building in person was incredible. It is absolutely mind-blowing in it’s grandeur. We have nothing like this here, really. I had no basis for comparison at all. This castle (and this is the first castle I have ever seen in person) drives home how royalty lived, and it really caused me to see the Revolution in a whole new light.
Seeing this history that I have been reading about for so many years was beyond amazing.
I have decided that I don’t really like the pyramids. But, then, perhaps I am not sophisticated enough to understand the artistic intent. I am wondering why Pei chose to use a pyramid. I suppose I can understand why as far as practical reasons go. However, aesthetically, it really looks out of place. What are your thoughts?
When we wandered out the Louvre, both times, I was totally shocked by the Apple Store in the Carrousel (the shopping mall that you walk through as you exit). It was totally surreal to wander around in this place with so much, mind-blowingly so, history and be confronted with something so American and representative of the present time. I was so shocked by this that I completely missed La Pyramide Inversée (featured prominently in The DiVinci Code). I wandered by this thing twice and don’t have any recollection of it.
People resting on the lawn of the Louvre.
We landed in Paris at around 7:00 this morning. I tried to sleep on both flights with not much luck. So when we finally made our way out of the airport and to our hotel I thought, “hmm. Maybe I will try tricking my body into thinking it’s morning time 7 am, and not crazy-late-stay-up-until-you-crash time (1 am). It so did not work at all. I wandered through the Louvre like a spaced-out zombie, each hour my body screaming for sleep. We enjoyed our day there though! This place is unquestionably amazing. This city is too. I just need to get a good night’s sleep tonight so I can enjoy it properly tomorrow.