Sunday, January 29, 2012

Living Color

Sold my house and am looking back at some of its details. In particular, the way natural light and incandescent light combine to create living color.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

One Object; Two Images

It's winter here in St. Louis, which means it's cold and ugly outside, and gets dark early – all good reasons not to feel inspired or creative. Instead I brought my energies indoors and looked for subjects to shoot in the comfort of my warm home. These shots became the Recent Work series that I've been posting for the past few weeks.
     The most recent of the recent images began with a Pottery Barn vase and resulted in the following two interpretations.

First, the vase was shot in front of a studio light to create a high contrast silhouette, using its sinewy shape as the focus of the composition. My intention was to crop out the light box and leave a bright white background with a nearly black shape floating in the center of the photo. However, what I liked more, was the thick black borders of the full frame image with the background being softened by the ragged edge of the light box and the way it framed the hard edges of the vase.

For the second shot, I recalled a college professor's lecture about painting in chiaroscuro – letting things emerge from total darkness into the light. I quickly found the right balance of a simply beautiful shape coming into view from the blackness. While it was a pleasant image, I felt it needed some random scrape of color and movement to contrast with the perfect symmetry of the vase. I tossed in an extension chord and worked the shape until I found the right line to complement the circles.
     In these lighting conditions, the white chord took on a greenish cast – something I did not predict but nevertheless felt was the key element to making this composition work for me.
     (And this is why I'm not a commercial photographer. The client would have argued endlessly that their white chord should be white, when it's obvious to me that it should be anything BUT white.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Just for Fun - Part Four

I see the stern jaw of an animal rearing up and preparing to attack.
     What do you see?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Recent Work - 2011.12 Part 5

Abstract 19
© Larry Torno

Next to Rechanneling Morris Louis (shown 12-11-11), today's post, Abstract 19, is my favorite recent photo because it came out of nowhere. It started with an object I found that I kept shooting until it fell into a composition that really worked for me.
     Like a lot of my photos, I never know what to expect until I see something that sparks an idea and gets me excited. The energy, movement and unpredictability in this image is what I'm always looking for.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Recent Work - 2011.12 Part 4

I Remember Franz Kline
© Larry Torno

I'm a very visual person and love it when I create an image that evokes a memory.
     During my college years, I would flip endlessly through art books hoping to glean some inspiration that would make me cover a canvas with bold gestural strokes and genius compositions.
     It never happened, but all these years later I find that I can create a photograph, stand back to examine it, and recall with discovery that I remember Franz Kline.

My previous three posts from Recent Work: 2011.12.