Plates 33 & 34
Combining front and rear projection
plates 33 34)
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There are some valuable advantages in having a rear projection
screen especially when owning more than one projector. The first advantage
that comes to mind, after the obvious one of avoiding distortion, with at least one of the
images, is the opportunity to add a light coloured background when photographing projected
images on to other objects.
For example when creating a picture such as plate 11 (Page 2), the way of avoiding the
portrait from being seen behind the feather, was by having a large dark space beyond the
feather. Then only the image focused, on to the feather, could have been seen
the parts that missed the feather were lost out of focus in the dark area beyond. It would not have been possible to mask the image to the feather had a light
surface been close behind it. That is why many of these pictures have very
Should a lighter background scene have been favoured, it was not with the feather picture,
but had a background scene been required it could have been added by rear projection.
The rear projection screen would have been placed a distance beyond the
feather so that the portrait image reaching it would have been out of focus and darker.
Some masking would also have been used to help keep the brightest parts of
the portrait off this screen. Then by rear projection any picture could have
been added to form a background.
Should the rear projection screen simply be used to provide a background scene, often
expected to be in a softer focus, an expensive screen is then not needed. Even
tracing paper will do. Take a look at plate 33 (above) the slide of the
squirrel was projected on to an old broken piece of wood. Behind this piece of
wood a country scene is projected on to tracing paper, by rear projection, and then
photographed as seen. Plate 34 (above), was created in the same way, an old leaf was stuck
on to the tracing paper and a transparency of acorns projected on to it. The
sky scene was then projected on to the tracing paper and photographed as seen.
Hoping that readers having reached this far will agree that
the possibilities described, offer photographers working in colour so much more than
simply recording reality. Trusting readers will also agree that this form of
photography really justifies recognition in the art world, as it has certain qualities
that are quite unlike those of any other media.
This has been published with the hope that photographers will not just create strange
pictures or gimmickry, but produce works of true artistic merit.
The most satisfying time spent is without doubt in the creation of the work. Frequently regardless of the medium used, if an artist is truthful, the end result
obtained is not always exactly as initially conceived.
Often the author has decided on a theme, or it could be just a thought about a pattern or
composition that exists in the mind, in an abstract way, as yet unexpressed. Perhaps the last portrait taken inspires the desire to do more with it. Whilst considering and projecting certain images, to blend with such a portrait, something
can suddenly be seen that fires the imagination.
At other times an idea occurs and a clearly defined image forms in the mind. However, whilst trying to create this picture, it is not so unusual that one strays across
a certain amount of accidental inspiration. This can be the chance blending of
two images in a way never thought of before, that looks just too good to
ignore! The best thing to do then is to be prepared to change direction, and
pursue the new study, rather than the original concept. The first attempted
creation can always be tried again later on.
The excitement and pleasure one feels when inspired in this way is hard to describe.
So even if one starts with just the vaguest of concepts, it is worth spending
some time experimenting. Think of it as being the stage where the artist is
selecting and mixing the paints on his palette, still unsure of what he might paint, but
just feeling the need to make a start. Whilst thinking of the various
possibilities, surprising relationships can develop, that might well become the basis of
the final picture. It is only really by actually making a start, that you
create the opportunity for something exciting to happen.
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