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The Magic Lantern

My way of 'Painting With Light'

by

John Neville Cohen

All these tranies have been created with the 'Magic lantern'

 


Copyright

All images and text, within this site, are copyright and may not be copied, other than for personal reference, without written permission from John Neville Cohen.    1996 John N. Cohen

 

'Painting with Light' Limited Edition Prints Are Now Available

 

 

 

The author created most of his pictures on Kodachrome transparecy film, but many of these described images can also be taken with digital cameras. 

The discovery of the basic technique was, as is often the case, the result of an accident.  It was the chance projection of a slide without having the screen in place that resulted in a portrait appearing partly on some fabric and partly on the wallpaper.  The curved fabric distorted the image and when the picture was clearly focussed the weave and texture of the materials forming a type of screen became part of the portrait.  This result was sufficiently intriguing to leave the projection as it was and to study the possibilities of this occurrence.

Was it conceivable that a new photograph could be taken of the remarkable effect that could now be seen?  Why not?  If this effect could be photographed then one can photograph projected images on other textures or even on other objects.  This odd happening has proved to be the basic approach to gain full control of all images.   Providing a completely new way of superimposing and controlling every aspect of the picture.  Obviously it is practical to rephotograph a projected image no matter what it is projected on to, if one can see it, one can photograph it!

The projector however offers so many more possibilities than the darkroom enlarger to create pictures.  Take any image on any film, it is just as easy to project negatives or transparencies in colour or black and white on to whatever is desired.  

Consider the potential when projecting an image on to; fabrics (not always flat), textures, or even on to other objects, then try bouncing the projected photograph off a reflective surface and focus it on to a screen, or have a look at what happens if a crystal is placed near to the projector lens (behind the lens as well as in front).  Colour filters can be used, or parts of the image can be masked (again compare the results obtained in front, as against behind, the projector lens).

With more than one projector it is possible to combine and superimpose with perfect control more than one image.  By projecting these images, one on top of the other, and then masking away the overlapping parts of each image, that are no longer required, a totally new picture can be formed.

These are the basic principles, which with infinite variety are used to mould, form and relate at will, all that has ever been photographed.  It is in fact the projector that provides all the magic, such is the diversity that can be achieved with it.  The older type of projectors are often of more use than the modern automatic types, as it is then likely to be easier to gain access to the space behind the lens.  That facility is of great advantage with these techniques - so look out for cheap second hand ones!  

 

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