Since we started working with wave forms and putting more of an emphasis on the artistry of photo processing, the constant thought in the front of my brain continues to be, “Where do we go next?” That path isn’t always clear, especially when I try a technique that I like, personally, but I’m concerned about how it might be received publicly. I don’t want to leave everyone scratching their heads and not figuring things out until I’m dead.
Then, one evening recently, I was sitting here watching Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse with the kids and got the answer I needed at least for this particular set of images. This Academy Award-winning film (best animated feature) mixes a variety of animation and illustration techniques and one of the most interesting is the way in which animators portray a glitch in the time-space continuum by offsetting, recoloring, and rotating existing shapes. The effect is visually disruptive without completely overtaking the scene.
Watching the movie raised a new question: What would happen if a wave form glitched? How would that visually translate? Would it glitch the same way every time or would it gradually grow until it disrupted the entire image?
This collection with our new friend Lily attempts to answer that question. The process was timing consuming. We finished the photos with the wave form as background, which we’ve done before, then added a second, different wave form over the top of that one, twisted it, rotated it, and changed its tone. To make the distinction more interesting, the base wave form is black and white while the second wave form is in color..
As most glitches start small and grow, so does the effect in our photos. We introduce them slowly in the first editorial look, then expand and colorize them in the second, and finally allow the glitch to completely take over in the third. While the concept seemed simple enough in my head, the actual processing took nearly three times as long as a normal editorial portrait and managed to crash Photoshop on a fairly regular basis. Turns out that using an immense amount of masking drives a computer insane and it shuts down. Who knew?
This is just the first of three rather intense photo sets we have, and I’ll probably shoot more in a week or so. I’m beginning to think of wardrobe more in terms of a prop than a dressing and makeup as a color catalyst. Where, exactly, that takes us remains to be seen, but with each step we ask the same question: Where do we go next?
Our thanks, again, to Lily for coming in bright and early on a Wednesday morning and to Kat for handling the makeup duties.
As always, click one of the thumbnails to see the full set and please, by all means, share this with your friends.