PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL: I’m sometimes asked about the surface texture of some of my images. Most often those asking describe it as like-a-painting or painterly. I can’t do better than to say that certain textures appeal to my eyes the way certain seasonings appeal to taste or the way certain timbres, harmonies and rhythms touch nerves and make me move. The treatment is not, I hope, a wash put over the picture, and it comes from several different sources. Various digital tools allow fine control over localized contrasts - contrasts within certain ranges. These, I find, must be tuned to the scale of detail within the image and set to achieve the emphasis my eye wants to see. In the image above Topaz Adjust allowed me to bring out shapes, especially in the middle-ground left and right, within specific size ranges until they held my eye as it wanted - needed.
Sometimes I choose to bleach out colors or enhance them with a bit of extra saturation or more drastic conscious distortions of the image, and the measure is never how much the finished image duplicates the original. Often areas must be darkened or lightened to emphasize elements or lead the eye. Sometimes the texture is merely noise that results from pulling extra detail out of shadow or when shooting in very dark areas under natural or minimally enhanced light; for some images it makes excellent grunge.
Thanks again to everyone at Colt Gateway for making it possible to photograph there.