Friday, May 08, 2009

Experiments in story telling through images

Click on the image to see it in full detail.

Over the last few weeks I have become more and more interested in the ways in which I can use GIMP (the open source alternative to Photoshop) to manipulate images. It was the the next step for me in terms of improving my photography processing, however, I thought rather than just leqarning to re-touch photos I would try to produce images that subtly subverted their original meaning.

My first "targets" were the recent UK anti - terrorism ads which are so Orwellian in their tome and philosophy they demand to be parodied. later on I realised that I could also tell a story through the manipulation of posters, newspaper accounts and leaflets, which is exactly what i have been doing (see here for the full collection). The story is still unfolding in my head and I have no idea how it will end.

The one thing I can say is that I have learnt an enormous amount in pursing this. I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that I've learnt more about processing pictures in the last two weeks than I learnt in the last two years.

Take the image above, for example. The NY Times picture is actually six processed images place one inside the next, Russian doll style, each layer, itself the product of a great deal of manipulation. At each stage I had to solve the difficulties I came across, some of them minor, some more complex. The result is much more than the picture, but rather a whole bunch of skills which I'm not about to forget soon. Who knows, they may even prove useful in real life?

My story telling has been inspired by V for Vendetta (comic and film), 1984, Orson Welles's radio production of War of the Worlds, Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco, the recent G20 events in London and the Greek riots of last December.

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