In a previous post, I tackled the general concept of an abstract photograph. I think it can be refined down something of the following: an image which is balanced equally across the entire frame such at that no one area attracts your attention more than any other area; the eye wanders, takes in the details, and never really lingers. By this definition, there is no subject since no one area or element of the photograph stands out more than any other; however, you could probably also argue that the entire frame is really the subject. Semantics is a funny thing, though, and this isn’t quite the definition of the term: we must think in terms of essences and summaries instead. An ‘abstract’ of a paper or article is really the core idea distilled down to the simplest possible terms; the objective elevator pitch rather than the marketing tagline. Today’s article tackles the visual equivalent of that: how do we take an idea and translate that into something visual?
From a recent roll shot with the Nikon F2 Titan, Zeiss 2/28 Distagon and Nikon 58/1.2 Noct on Ilford XP2-400 – somehow, a good number of the images turned out to be of cars, even though they were shot a quite different times. Even more curiously there are quite a few BMWs in there…
Note: Ilford XP2-400 is a C41 process black and white film, which means it’ll give monochrome (if in my experience, slightly toned due to the development chemistry) images through a normal minilab process. However, what isn’t so well known is that the film is also developable in regular black and white chemistry; I used DDX 4:1 at 26C for five minutes, and it worked out just fine – as you can see here. Contrast needed a bit of a boost after digital copying (with my usual D800E and macro lens setup), though, and dynamic range appears to be a bit limited compared to normal black and white negative film. Still, I’m quite pleased with the results. Enjoy! MT
Visit our Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including Photoshop Workflow DVDs and customized Email School of Photography; or go mobile with the Photography Compendium for iPad. You can also get your gear from B&H and Amazon. Prices are the same as normal, however a small portion of your purchase value is referred back to me. Thanks!
Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved