Featured Image – “Blowing Dust”
The arid and thirsty lands of the Southwest are teeming with life. The Sonoran Desert’s unique –almost alien like– fauna and flora are unlike anything else seen in the world. I’ve lived in Phoenix for over 14 years and the landscape still never gets old. I’ve resisted shooting a series of photographs dedicated to the desert flora until I could come up with a unique approach. After all, it has been photographed before, many, many times by countless photographers. For the most part, the photos all looked the same. How could I do it differently? At first, I had tried various photographic techniques and shot from a variety of angles, not happy with the results. Then I attempted selective color gradient overlays, still not working. This was getting frustrating! I began out engineering myself by throwing everything at these images but the kitchen sink during post processing.
Where there is will, there is a way. I didn’t give up, I gave myself a break for a couple of weeks in hopes that some idea would pop into my head. A few ideas came to mind, including the thought that perhaps I should stop thinking of these images as photographs and more as artwork. After all, I am a graphic designer with some art skill, I could make these images into whatever I wanted. I didn’t need to include the background scenery in the original photos, I could take that out. I could make the sky purple, blue or even pink! The technique required additional thought for each image and increased the processing time. As I went on, the photos evolved beyond photos, they were now designs.
After testing out the new ideas I felt this was the right direction. I evolved the technique little by little. The exaggerated colors I had originally implemented were scaled back and more conservative but still vibrant and colorful. I had always been a fan of halftone patterns (similar to the images seen in comic books, little dots that make up the image) so I had applied this effect and was happy with the look. So far, I have about six in the collection with a goal of developing ten more.
I’d like to introduce a few of the designs. Upon completion of the work, an exhibition dedicated to the series will be launched by Muzeo, an art collection foundry in Scottsdale, Arizona. I haven’t named the series, perhaps someone can give me some ideas?