Sunday, September 13, 2009

Does 'planning in advance' become too much of a good thing?

Over 25+ years of doing montage work, I've been 'up, down, and all around' on this one.
Many times, I make tracings from my proof sheets, like the one at left, above..
and then take that into the darkroom.
Sometimes, I just 'see it' in my mind's eye, no tracing or drawing, and that's all I need.
Recently, I've started doing what I've been calling 'photoshop sketches' - I make really fast and dirty digital shots of my proof sheet frames, and working w/ them digitally, like the image at right, above.
But I've quickly become to wonder if this is perhaps 'planning too much'.
As it turns out, it isn't - how it works out in the darkroom is never the same as any planning I can do.
That's relief to me - I thought maybe 'digital' was rotting my brain, my sense of adventure and improvisation. Glad that hasn't happened yet. Though I am going to be very vigilant to see that doesn't happen.

At the bottom is what's known as a cairn - a mound of stones, embellished in some way, serving as a marker, for fellow travelers. This one was found in Joshua Tree NP, directing me, the finder and viewer to... I'm not sure where.
I photographed it, anyway...figuring that I'd figure it out... sometime in the future.
The flames were shot at a campfire, a decade ago - it was rather tightly framed, which is why I had to add some sky around it, to keep it from completely dominating the image.

When I printed the image, even w/ this sketch at my elbow, it still turned out different ! :-)
As usual, too many images to post here, including a final print w/ one more thing added ('frosting on the cake' so to speak) check the page at my website: