Image and Object – The Cycle of Nature

We just finished up another wonderful week at Haliburton School of Fine Arts. This week, the instructor was Anna Gaby-Trotz, a wonderful nature & landscape photographer and all-round whiz at producing objects from images.

I’ve already covered our first project in a post – producing photo collages. The second project was to produce a book. We were shown how to do two different styles of books – an accordion book where the pages are connected to one another and fold into a compact book and a stitched book where the pages are bound together conventionally using waxed thread.

Cycle of Nature (1 of 5)

One of my themes for the week was the cycle of nature. Mankind and nature have a very complex relationship. We depend on nature for our very existence, but we seek to domesticate it, control it and civilize it. We impose our order on it and, in doing so, start to destroy nature. As time goes on, our control over nature decays due to our own foibles and, slowly and irrevocable, nature re-asserts her will. I produced an accordion book on this subject containing five pages. These pages have been captured in a portfolio here. Please have a look.

On Wednesday, we had a fun time producing silk screen prints from photographs. This is a fairly complex process involving the separation of layers suitable for printing in various colors using Photoshop, the production of acetate positives from the layers, the creation of the silkscreen plate using UV light through the acetates to expose a light-sensitive film on the silkscreen and, finally, the printing process. We all enjoyed the process and managed to produce some decent-looking prints on our first attempt.

For the final project on Thursday and Friday, I decided to combine 3D photography with book making and created a nice little bound book containing little pockets for a dozen stereoscopic cards. It was a nice sunny day on Thursday, so I went out into the beautiful sculpture garden at the school to take some pictures of the sculptures using the “cha cha” method. To produce stereo images, you have to take a left and a right picture at roughly the same distance apart as your eyes. To do this, you face the subject and focus on a point. Then, you go down on your left hip and take the first photo and then go down onto your right hip to take the second photo.

I’ve got some nice free 3D software called Stereo Photo Maker . It takes the left and right image as input and produces a single stereo image with the angles optimized for 3D viewing. As long as you keep the camera reasonably level in your cha cha, the software can produce incredibly effective images. Here’s an example of a stereo card. To view it, you need a stereo viewer like the OWL



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