Saturday, October 20, 2007

Moonrise in Shadowland

The Round Robin Challenge this week is to capture the eerie and pensive mood of the season. Anything goes.

Inspired by a chapter on scanner art in a book about closeup photography, I decided to fire up the machine I got for my birthday and try my hand at that. Of dozens of shots, this is the best of the bunch.

The "moon" is actually a white stone, scanned in a dark room with the lid of the scanner open and one light source to the side. The "land" is a black T-shirt draped over the edge of the lid. I meant to go back and make a cleaner shot when time allowed, but you know how that goes.

My first thought was to try shrouding my head in black and scanning my face, eyes closed. I was going for a floating death mask Halloween thing. Man, was that a bad idea. (Ladies, if you really want a good scare, try this: Lay a mirror on a low table, bend over to see your reflection, and see what happens to your face.) You will never, never be seeing those shots. Ever.

Experiment B involved scanning a crystal ball paperweight. That turned out pretty well, producing kind of an alien planet effect:

Interestingly enough, there is controversy over whether scanned images are actually photographs. I can see why serious photographers would have an issue. But if, like me, all you do is arrange the shot, fiddle with the light and settings, and push the button, then I don't see the difference. It's the same process for either machine. Either way, you end up with a digital image. Either way, it's a lot of fun.

To see what the other Robins found in their forays into Shadowland, please go to the main page and visit their blogs. You'll be glad you did!

*PS - These would have looked much better if I could have kept them long and thin, like the original images from the scanner platen, but they got squarish when rotated 90 degrees. If anyone knows how to preserve dimensions when rotating images, I'd appreciate your telling me how to do that.


Carly said...

Hi Vicki :)

I think what you have done here is tremendously creative, and a very good approach. :) It really does give the illusion of being the moon, and a rather spooky one at that. Well done darlin.

Always, Carly

Teena said...

Very creative! Very cool!

Mine's up too :)

Suzanne R said...

Very neat effects -- I would never have thought of doing what you did. Truly appropriate for the theme, but then you knew that. ;-)

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Wow, I would have had no suspicion about the provenance of that first shot, were it not for the second shot and explanation. It really is perfect, a convincing, spooky, otherworldly landscape. What is the book? 'Cause now I'm wondering whether I've been taking my scanner too much for granted, rather than investigating its capabilities.

MyMaracas said...

Thanks guys! I was hoping you'd like it. Karen -- the book is The Magic of Digita Close-Up Photography, by Joseph Meehan. It's great!

Nancy said...

That is absolutely incredible!

I understand the controversy around photoshop and stuff...but what you did is different, on the up and up, and wonderful!


Steven said...

Excellent! The scanning results are impressive. The moon rock is very cool. The land effect is simple and works very well.

I looked at the scans off your blog, just the image files, and I think you are seeing something that happens in photo editing software. Large image files, like a scan, are presented in a scaled view in the software. That might account for what you see when you rotate the images. You can always check the image size too if you think some type of auto resize is going on.

Scanned images are photos. One can argue that painting is photography as it does render an image, albeit rather slowly. Some define photography as a chemical process.

I go by the word. Photo means light. Graphy means to write. So photography is writing with light.

You've done that here :-) With shadows!

Jessica said...

lol nnow you know ill be at work tomorrow with a black cloth and some marbles, tryin this out with the scanner there !

Gattina said...

Very creative and the picture looks so real ! I would never have thought that it is NOT the real moon !

MyMaracas said...

Thanks, all, for your kind comments!

Steven, if you don't mind, I'd like to send you the original images? Maybe you can tell me why the dimensions change when they're flipped on their sides.

And Jessica -- post the results, OK? Can't wait to see how that turns out.


Janet said...

Those are great "shots" and quite creative! I like the top one best, but I'm a moony girl :-)

gina said...

wow...very impressive and creative. both are great, but i love that 1st one. great job!