I enjoy imagery that sparks the imagination of my little subjects. Inspired by the natural world and the childhood literature, I enjoy creating complex digital composites and I endeavour to challenge myself and my skills in this area.
I use photography as a medium to share imaginative visions and construct scenes ‘other-worldly’. These images would not be possible to capture in one individual photograph so in order to construct this type of artwork, a number of individual photographs are taken and combined. The process is not straight-forward – it is time consuming and requires much planning, skill, patience and many other considerations. In saying that though, I enjoy the challenge and the process in creating this type of art. The best part is presenting the final image to my little subjects and seeing the look of ‘astonishment, awe and delight’ all in one expression – this is a great joy for me to see (as my heart misses a few beats)!
Here I will share with you an insight into my photographic process using the image “Navigators” as an example.
I begin with an idea. I make a sketch and detailed notes about the scene, location(s), perspective, lighting, subjects and the props that are required to tell the story. Planning is crucial before embarking on this type of project. Locations can only be photographed at specific times of the day or weather conditions to suit the desired lighting/feel to the final image. In addition, photographing all of the individual elements of the scene require considerations of lighting and perspective.
Ideas are like seeds – if you plant and nurture it, something ‘magic’ starts to grow! For me, this occurs during the creative process – the original sketch of the idea starts to change as new ideas are added… “I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else” – Pablo Picaso. This is exactly what happens to me when I create this type of artwork!
Individual location and subject photographs are taken so that perspectives and lighting will work together. In many cases, I will source props or craft/create small miniature versions of items required for the scene and photograph them with careful consideration of perspective and lighting that is consistent with the final envisaged artwork.
I use Photoshop to transform and create the vision from all the individual photographs taken. This post-production stage is the most labour-intensive and often involves many days (and sometimes weeks) of work to finesse the image in order for it to be as believable as possible. I enjoy the post-production stage and watching the artwork develop as new ideas continue to emerge. Almost every time I create this type of artwork, I find myself photographing new elements to add to the image as the story unfolds during the post-production stage of the project …. As an Artist, this is the most exciting part of the process! I am in the driver’s seat, but creating this type of work is like looking at the scenery out of the car window – there are so many possibilities on the creative journey and it is exciting to see what the final destination will be!
I remain flexible with the photographic process until I achieve a visual result that aligns with the original vision that I saw in my imagination… only then am I satisfied. My work cannot be forced and the creation is a vision that must ‘feel’ right within my heart. I believe ‘magic’ happens when you put a piece of yourself into your work.
‘Seeing’ comes before thoughts or words… I believe what we see reflects who we are… we see our souls in the things we love.
In addition to “Navigators”, I have created a number of Artworks which together create a heart-warming narrative at the Harvest Exhibition in April 2019 – http://www.harvestexhibition.com