As I edit my photographs I often have to switch viewing modes to see more detail, or strip the colour out so that I can concentrate on contrasts or shadows for the editing that I need to do. Recently I’ve begun to see my photographs in a different light when doing such editing work – I’m seeing them not as I intend them to be seen, but rather as peeling back layers of colour and detail to reveal the form and structure underlying the photograph. I find this fascinating and beautiful, both as a different view of the photograph I’ve taken, but also as individual works themselves; as if the underlying layers are just parts of a whole that when combined creates the photograph – the photograph beneath.
So I’ve begun exploring these often abstract images, some of which you can see above. All of these photographs come from recent work I’ve done in Dog Hill Wood in Ledbury, so if you’ve read my recent blogs you may recognise them.
What surprises me is how much the image can change – the saplings photograph is cloaked in shadow, but underlying that is lightness. The bluebells by the path almost entirely loses context, and becomes something quite different, as if it were the negative of a water colour painting.
The euphorbia is no longer soft and green, but has been revealed to be sharp and hard – cold against the dark background, and the ivy on the cherry tree has ethereal and mysterious, almost x-ray-like loops and protrusions.
So now I have a new form of abstract photography, and its been there, underneath, the whole time.