Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Making of a Fine-Art Print 'Man, Lantern and Orange Wall'

I am once again in San Miguel de Allende and for the last 2 weeks I've been like a young boy running around in a large candy shop. It feels great to be back and there have been so many favourite places to visit and most importantly eat some great food.  I have managed to photograph some new scenes and these will be the subject of future articles.

Last year I photographed the image below from the section of the Casa Mission on Cerrada de Pila Seca which is only a walking street that runs behind Cafe Monet. I was initially struck by the strong primary colors, the lantern and its shadow and the texture on the wall, but when I printed it, it seemed to lack something to give it extra punch. Some extra texture.

Man, Lantern and Orange wall   12” x 16.5”

Final image with texture added

I tried several generic textures that I had on file, mostly splatter type patterns but none provided the effect that I wanted. Not that I knew what I wanted but I felt that when I saw it, it would feel right.

From the article title you may wonder about the man. If you look closely at the image you should be able to see a man walking in amongst tall bare trees and their branches. It is subtle and that's what I wanted but it's there in the image. Only by accident, I decided to try other B&W images that were actual images. I came across one image with a man walking amongst tall trees and when I overlaid on colorful wall image it worked for me.

In the detailed close-up below the man becomes clearly visible.

The print I made is 12” by 16.5” and to all I showed the print, no one could see the man. In fact, several people showed other areas that they thought was man, which became an added twist to the print.

The overlay photograph is shown below.

A fine-art photograph is about what inspires you. It not about what others are doing with their art or what people think is right or wrong.

Don't be intimated with experimenting or concerned that others don't get it. If you like the results and it provides meaning for you then it's a perfect piece of art work.  With so many people on the planet you can be sure that there will be some that find your work inspirational.

When I printed my final proof photograph which I keep around to ensure that my impressions don't change, one was immediately spoken for.

This photograph is printed on 300 gram, 13” x 19:, Ilford pearl paper. Usually, I tend to print on textured fine-art matte/watercolor paper but this image called for more vibrancy in the colours.

My prints are limited within a series and these are normally sets to 5. If I do another series they will be different in some form, either paper selection and other tonal attributes or printed larger. But any future series will  be sold  at a price that is higher by a reasonable margin than the highest price for the previous series.

2 prints, unframed,  are currently available at the
Orange Gallery   near the Parkdale market in Ottawa

It's just a coincident that the major color of this print and the art gallery are the same.

Niels Henriksen


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