2015 saw my photography take quite a leap sideways, not in the subject matter but in my approach to post production which created a new style of work.
Around about this time last year I guess I was struggling with inspiration for new work and what was missing was not what to photograph but how to convey something in my work that reflected something more personal. We often (at least I can) look in the subject that we photograph to illustrate a feeling or an emotion, to tell a story or to simply present something that appeals. Whilst we may have our own style of capture and final process it's what is in the photograph that is the real image.
So last year I started to experiment with my archive of images going back up to 10 years and started to look at my work with fresh eyes. Long gone are the thoughts of what I was trying to achieve at the time, the memory of what worked (or didn't) and I started to see new ideas.
At the same time I started to play with iOS (Apple iPad) apps and discovered a couple of new art apps that accepted photos as layers. I have used mobile apps over the years but often felt that I was either trying to find something new but often didn't, or became frustrated with the power and quality compared with the likes of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
What I did like was the alternative way of creating images, working within the apps limitations and which may sound daft to use software that is less capable but this can help focus the mind on being creative, the simpler the interface the more we look beyond the technology and see the image we are working on.... I know what I mean.
I started to use several apps but came to try and master Procreate, essentially a digital art app that handles photo layers in a not dissimilar way to Photoshop. I also use a few others such as Snapseed, PhotoToaster and Filterstorm to name a few. One aspect of Procreate that for me was a winner is the ability to save and archive files mid creation, no saving a flattened image so I can draft an idea to finish later - cool. Then I discovered that these files can be exported into Photoshop - with all the layers preserved !! so they can be fine tuned and saved for print in full high resolution - fantastic !
What matters is the work that was created by combining and modifying several layers in each image, one huge benefit of ios apps is the ability to follow ideas wherever I am, not being confined to a desk or laptop so ideas can be played with immediately with the touch interface allowing total freedom of thought. I use a mix of digital photos and textures created with other apps, images can be painted, smudged and blended to create some rather unexpected results.
This is not intended as an App review, perhaps that's something for another day but if you have any specific questions happy to share my experiences.
A few samples here of which many became exhibition prints...