The artist´s block

DO YOU HAVE ARTIST´S BLOCK?

You are no longer impelled to go out and shoot? Or you struggle to find good photo opportunities when you do? And suddenly all the photos look the same to you?

You may be experiencing artist´s block. Or maybe you are just unmotivated and need some incentive. Either way, here is how I sometimes overcome these feelings or conditions that affects so many of us, every so often.

There is no big secret involved, just maybe the realization that there are photographers way better than you out there, or that found a new technique, a new approach to photography that you have never thought about using.

I will give you an example.

Meet PEP VENTOSA

Pep Ventosa is a Spanish photographer from Barcelona who makes a living making a specific type of images and showing them around in galleries all around the world.

WHAT TYPE, YOU MAY ASK…?

Well, basically he shoots around a subject a not-very-specific amount of images and blends them all together, resulting in some kind of painterly effect. The subject can vary, from a tree to a lamp post, from a carousel to building.

Here are a few of his images, just so yo know what I am talking about, and we will talk again after you take a look.

Please click on them to view them in full size

So now that you’ve seen them and you like them, continue reading. If you think this is not for you, there is nothing for you to see here.

THE TECHNIQUE

Pep Ventosa is not shy about explaining the technique but ultimately is up to each one of us to tweak it to our taste. I explain.

  1. Find a colorful tree or interesting lamp post
  2. Stand away from the tree, far enough so that you get the whole tree in your viewfinder and still catch some left and right background
  3. Use JPEGS and start taking shots. Take the first and move maybe a step to the side, and shoot again always keeping the subject as aligned as possible from one shot to the other. Maybe use the grid and the live viewfinder to keep them in the same relative position.
  4. Just go around the tree shooting . I realized you don’t actually need to do the 360º to get a nice result. I typically do like 25/30 shots which means maybe I only shoot half the tree.
  5. Go on photoshop and load them into stack.
  6. Now batch change the opacity of each layer to 12% or so. This is what I do, not what he does. He changes opacity from one layer to another and sometimes I do too. But 12% each is a good place to start.
  7. Sometimes in a certain layer there is something you don’t like. Just clone it out.

And that is more or less what he does.

He also uses this stacking technique to shoot other subjects like monuments, buildings and cars. Here are 2 examples.

Please click on them to view them in full size

MY TAKE ON IT

So I started exploring this technique that I find fascinating, maybe because I am also so much into painting.

These are some of the results I got. Hope you like it.

Please click on them to view them in full size

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