Photography: Creating Nightmare Quality

A Surreal Image Created In Bibble and PhotoShop by Stephen Bray

Is it Art?

I’ve been playing with some new toys today. Yesterday I collected the Panasonic Leica Summilux 25mm prime from UPS in Marmaris. This is a very fast, (and Large), standard lens for the 4/3 system built for use on Panasonic’s LC1 SLR, or its Leica equivalent the DigiLux 3. Of course it also fits all cameras using the 4/3 lens mount so it works with the Olympus E-400.

It’s too early today to look for subjects far from home to assess it so I shot this picture of a, somewhat, tired Amazon and Irem preparing breakfast. The image was shot in RAW and converted in the second toy ~ Bibble Pro RAW conversion software, which I am reviewing.

One of the plug-ins in Bibble is ‘Andy’ a monochrome equivalency filter that has a setting to emulate the Kodak Kodalith process. I haven’t made a proper Kodalith for thirty years but the temptation to press a button and make this electronic version was just too much. The result for some reason reminded me of the quality of techniques demonstrated in Professor Hedgecoe’s Books.

Replacing black with red in PhotoShop completes the transformation and helps to create the image’s nightmare quality.

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4 Responses to “Photography: Creating Nightmare Quality”

  1. Phillip of Amos Says:

    Am I getting too old or have you chosen the wrong title to include your family?

    Art is for art’s sake, but there are border’s, it’s an interesting concept, where to do you draw the line?

    I personally visit the new Tate gallery every week, as I am called to audit a number of client’s along the Southbank, it’s a very nice day out, as I walk the river route from the City to Twickenham.

    But I feel very strongly that “ART” has lost it’s true meaning.

    When I worked in private banking, I was astounded to see “Nursery clay work” costing in excess of £25K, providing the family name was displayed upon the article.

  2. Stephen Bray Says:

    Well the question I posed was, “Is it Art?” The presupposition in your post is that Art has a meaning.

    Most early art either celebrated deities. Western Medieval Art is largely religious propaganda, whilst Chinese and Japanese Art points to some kind of reality.

    Modern Art, particularly performance art aims at something similar. The psychoanalyst Eric Fromm wrote on ‘Living as Art’ and this Journal has posed questions about the connection between art and daily life before. In this sense whilst I don’t think the illustration in this post is art, even though heavily doctored in Adobe PhotoShop, it may be that this journal, of which that picture your comment and my reply forms a part, could be regarded as art.

    What do you think?


  3. Aeroplane Says:

    Everything is open to interpretation, but I personally feel that “ART” should have a meaning, otherwise we just have “art for art’s sake”.

  4. Stephen Bray Says:

    Well in principle I agree with you, the purpose of “ART” is to do with meaning.

    The difference between Medieval art, and Postmodern Art, for example, is that where the former sought to convey a meaning predicated upon salvation beyond death, Postmodern Art leaves us participants to create meaning for ourselves, and is thus theoretically more liberating.

    Modern art was much more political in the sense that impressionists pointed, together with the scientific community of the times, at a world that wasn’t absolute, whilst Cubists created a kind of satire of the modernist science and social engineering that created destruction on the industrial scale of modern warfare, and the dictatorships supported by it during the first half of the twentieth century. Picasso’s painting Guernica is an example of this.

    My modest adaptation in PhotoShop may perhaps be more likened to Warhol’s early work where he satirises common brand images such as Campbell’s Soup.

    I am, of course, not so much as satirising the family as Adobe PhotoShop.

    A wonderful conversation. Thank you for it. I am looking forward to many more in person.


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