Surrealism

This Image, named ‘The Ghost Swift’ 2012, comes from Kirsty Mitchell’s Wonderland Book, a project she worked on for 5 years as a tribute to her mother who sadly passed away in 2008. She was inspired by the fairytale stories she used to tell her as a child and with her background in Arts & Fashion she was able to hand-make all the elaborate outfits and create the scenes for each shot.

The time involved was immense, sometimes taking up to 5 months of preparation making everything ready for just one shot. Some of the images were shot in a studio, this one was put together in a forest at the end of an uprooted tree and shot with a Nikon D800 and some extra lighting.

It is very surreal and dream-like, a woman sat almost intwined in the roots holding oversized keys, almost like she is the soul of the tree and covered in books and butterflies, immersed in nature and knowledge. If it wasn’t for the little splash of colour and the butterflies it would be dark and moody but they somewhat add a gentleness to the eerie surroundings.

The photo is extremely sharp, by using a small aperture she has captured every little detail, there is so much going on with intricate perfection. The vibrant colours draw your eyes to the centre of the image and they contrast against dark on everything surrounding. Her work really stands out against anything I have seen before and I think it’s amazing, she says it lies somewhere between fantasy and the journey through her grief which together have created these surreal images that you can draw your own meaning from.

I find her images a mixture of fantasy and surrealism with similarites to Alice In Wonderland. She inspires me not just as a photographer but to create something so individual and to stand out from anything that has been done before. I would like to apply a similar approach to my newborn photography, not as in-depth but I like the idea of creating bespoke photographs that are individual to each client…and their fantasies.

Resources:

www.kirstymitchellphotography.com
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Impressionism

Photograph taken at Piha Beach by Eva Polak, Contemporary Impressionist photographer.

This photograph comes from Eva’s Beach collection, she expresses her feelings through her images by using impressionist techniques, a theme that evolved in the 19th century. It was very different to anything before, in the early stages it was often disregarded for more realistic interpretations.

In this beach scene the image is purposely out of focus but you can understand what it is, perhaps taken in the early morning/evening, the dark clouds and shadows that’s sweep across the horizon contrast the golden sun which lights up the sky and reflects onto the water.

There is a strong sense of solitude with the moody atmosphere dominating the majority of the image and the motion blur makes it look like it is raining. Its full of mystery with no detail in the person as they walks out of view in their own shadow. They could have been walking their dog which is out of view but her ‘impression’ of this scene portrays a lonely figure with heavy emotion attached.

Eva manipulates light, colour & motion which enables her to convey how she sees things through her artistic vision. By using slow shutter speeds, movement and post processing she produces images that have more of a painterly effect, relying heavily on the colour as well as light and shadows it creates something that appears almost dream-like and on the edge of reality.

eva-polak-man-on-beach

Expressionism

Franz Marc (German, 1880–1916). Four Foxes, 1913, Watercolour and chalk on paper, 44.4 x 38.7 cm | Indiana University Art Museum

Franz Marc, a German print maker and artist was one of the key figures in the German Expressionism Movement.

Like most of his work that shows an abstract interpretation of animals in their natural habitat without any distracting surroundings this piece follows true to his style of simplicity. He uses straight lines to form the pointed ears and noses of the foxes and the spikes in between, then he uses smooth sweeping lines to contrast those with the curves of the foxes body and tail. Thus adding a sense of balance to the shapes and at the same time it gives your eyes something to follow and explore around the image.

There is a little negative space above and below which frames the foxes and even though they are entwined together with sharp spike-like angles between them, he separates everything with highlights between the brown shading of the fox and the blue of the spikes which gives a sense of calm in relation to the content.

Bright bold colours are predominant in Franz Marcs work where he uses them to signify meaning,  this piece has more subdued colours in comparison to the majority of his work but is  striking nonetheless with the combination of only two colours and opposing lines.