Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Silk 'n Style

by Emery Roth II

with Rick Pauline and Dawn Dingee

discussion & presentation

The Klotz Throwing Mill in Lonaconing, Maryland, is an accidentally preserved, "gilded age" silk mill from the beginning of the 20th century. View it through the eyes of eight photographers who traveled there in two groups in the past year. See the machinery and factory where the dreams of the gilded age were spun.  Consider how different eyes convert the experience of the mill into still images, learn about the region, and join a discussion as we consider whether Style matters.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 7:00 PM

WHERE: The Housatonic Camera Club

Noble Horizons, 17 Cobble RoadSalisbury, CT

Garden of Delights No. 7

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: While photographers are still behind  the shutter there are already so many issues and opportunities to consider that many of us prefer to concentrate our efforts there. The deluge of digital options may seem as if it will drown us if we let too much in. ...or in it we may find new expressive possibilities that exist between photo-reality and graphic possibility. My own experience is that digital experimentation only expands expressive possibilities and enhances the pleasure I take in developing an image.

In chemical photography "solarization" is a phenomenon (to my knowledge B&W only) caused by extreme over-exposure; some tones reverse themselves. Although I've never done it, with practice and craft chemical photographers learns to produce and control the effect. Man Ray was famous for doing this. Before I began using ColorEfexPro plug-in for Photoshop, my experience was that digital solarization was a special effects filter with no nuance.  It was either on or off. A friend of mine called it "the Man Ray effect."

A number of images on this blog were made with the ColorEfex solarization filter. It provides several different ways to control the finished appearance, including a slider which sets the transition points where tones reverse and one which seems to change algorithms underlying the effect. The filter extends solarization into color photography in which colors reverse to their complement. While using the software the image changes continually with the sliders, and with a bit of experience one can learn to control the sliders to explore what the image is capable of - see the different events that happen as the "elapsed time" slider reveals and conceals detail. Often the experiments produce a variety of novelties, all with interest, or better yet, all strung into a movie they become the over-familiar, sci-fi journey through some other dimension. Occasionally the sliders bring something into focus that seems surprising and worth keeping, and with patience one can tune it in.  Or maybe there's nothing there at all. As I said in the first post, this is all experimental, and I'm eager for reactions.

For this image, the first step of the process was simply to intensify whatever color was in the image and concentrate contrasts using TopazAdjust. Solarization will burn away a good part of the saturated color, and what is left can be adjusted to reveal details that would otherwise be partly hidden.