Last page
BACK

[Catalog]
HOME

Chapters
CONTENTS

Next page
NEXT

 

The Subject Becomes The Screen!

 

 

Page 5 of 10 pages.

 

[Item Image]

The Creation of Plate 21

Also about masking & movement.

(See Portfolio plate 21)

Use your browser 'Back' button to return


Make The Subject a Screen 

So far all the techniques described have involved using a screen or a textured surface as a screen.  The fact that fabrics, to add a texture do not have to remain flat has also been mentioned.  Once some experience has been gained, it is not difficult to move on to other objects that can do more than just act as a screen.  These are items that become an important part of the subject of the new photograph as essential as the projected image.

Plate 18 (Page 2) may best demonstrate this concept.  The original portrait was projected on to the shell, and the contours of the shell influenced the projected image.  The masking was achieved by using a diffused mask behind the lens, that allowed light to illuminate other parts of the scene. 
An extra light was placed behind, and to the right of the shells, to help illuminate the other shells.

There are a number of other objects (in the Poetic Portfolio) that have been used in this way; a butterfly with a river scene, an orchid, a ball of wool and a Siamese cat, a coin, or a decaying holly leaf.  Plate 41 (Poetic Portfolio) is really almost a texture study, but can you see the nude?  She is well worth another look!

Even a highly reflective surface can be used see plate 19 (Page 2).  These coins were fixed to rods out of view behind each coin. The camera was directly in front of the top coin, so that the projected image from the projector was to the left of the camera.  This meant that the camera lens avoided the very bright reflection.   Had the camera been moved a little to the right, the image would not only have become too bright, but there would also have been a hot spot from the reflection of the projector bulb would have spoiled the result.

The edges of the pages of a book were used to create plate 21 'The preacher' (above).  Apart from masking the projected image, other light sources had to be introduced to illuminate the rest of the scene all without spoiling the projected image.

It can be fascinating to take your projector for a walk!  Use an extension lead and just project a selection of slides on to everything in sight.  By focusing on to a wide range of objects, you will be able to see what happens - expect to be surprised at some of the possibilities that will no doubt come to light!

 

Masking

Masking is best achieved by using black card that is stiff enough to stay upright; yet is easily cut into whatever shape is required.  It works well in front or behind the projector lens.  If masking in front of the lens it will quickly become apparent that the nearer to the screen the mask is placed, the sharper the shadow cast.  The ideal is to always use a soft edge shadow so the mask will not be very far forward of the lens.

If it is possible to work behind the lens then the nearer to the film, the sharper the shadows edge.  The mask is usually approximately 1cm. in front of the film, so that a soft edge shadow is cast from each projected image.  It is then simple to perfectly blend different images when working with more than one projector.

There have been times when instead of masking with black card a transparent opaque plastic has been preferred, this avoids a black shadow forming, especially if the second projection is not adding much in that particular area.  Tracing paper has been effective for this purpose normally placed behind the lens near to the film.

Lastly, where small awkward mask shapes are required, behind the lens, instead of using black card Blu-tack is useful.  It can be applied on to thin glass, as used for mounting slides, and it is then easy to alter both the size and shape of this pliable mask.



Movement

Many intriguing effects of projected images will only be apparent so long as the projected image is moving.  Stop still in any one place and the effect is lost.  Heavily textured or patterned material for example can completely overpower the stationary projected image, that is, until the projector is moved.

The only way to capture this phenomenon is to use cine or video equipment, but it is not too easy to achieve good results, due to the low exposure that is often needed.

The author was lucky enough to be invited by a film producer to experiment in the late 1960's with professional 35mm movie equipment.  To see if it could be possible not only to film a moving projected transparency, but to also capture the projected 35mm movie image.  The main problem was to gain perfect synchronisation between the movie camera and the cinema film projection.  It is essential that the camera shutter opens at the same instant that the individually projected frame of the movie appears.

Good results were achieved.  Projected moving images were re-filmed, on objects that were also moving, without too much difficulty.  This is only mentioned as all the described techniques still apply in this form too.  Many film titles and credits have since been created in this way.  The cine or video enthusiast might well find this of interest too.

Before considering a second projector, with just one, there are now an amazing amount of possibilities that can be achieved with the projected image.  However with two projectors the additional special effects are quite sensational.

 

Return to top of this page

 

 

Page 5 of 10 pages.

Last page
BACK

[Catalog]
HOME

Chapters
CONTENTS

Next page
NEXT