Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Curtis Mann - Bleached Photographs

Curtis Mann is a photographer best known for his creative technique of bleaching photographs. I think that this specific example of his work is good as the bleaching gives an almost tie-dye effect to the image, which I think works well at highlighting different areas of the photograph. I love how the orange and yellow colours bleed into each other but seems to stop around the person in the picture, which looks as if the picture was designed this way, rather than being spontaneous. I think that this technique would look really interesting on a double exposure photograph, whether it was done in camera or in the dark room. It would make the viewer pay closer attention to the photograph itself and would have more of an effect on them.

I also feel like you could try this technique whilst experimenting with different patterns when you paint the photograph with the nail varnish. To relate it to my theme of fashion, one idea is that you could take a colour picture of a particular fabric, and then bleach it using the technique below to make it harder for the viewer to see what the fabric/pattern is, which I think could be a particularly interesting technique and is something that I might try for my next project. 

How to bleach a photograph :

Below are my own versions of the technique of bleaching photographs. I took some clear nail varnish and painted on to the photograph where I didn't want the bleach to go (allow the nail varnish to dry before bleaching the prints, otherwise the effect won't work as well.). On the top photograph (the flower) I experimented with different patterns and shapes to see how this would turn out, on the bottom photograph (the red carpet photograph) I covered the outfits/people so that you would be able to see the details in the dresses, and I also painted other parts of the photograph to create an interesting effect. I then placed the photographs into a tray of bleach, and allowed them to soak in there for about 30-40 seconds, before rinsing them under water. If the bleaching isn't as strong as you want, you can wipe the bleach onto the photograph (make sure you're wearing gloves!). I then let them dry. The bleaching techniques work best with coloured photographs, but you could experiment with black and white photographs too.

Overall, I really like how they turned out, and I will definitely think about using this technique again in The Personal Project next half term. I think that it adds an interesting twist to a photograph, and can make a simple photograph look more creative. I think that for some photographs - perhaps old ones that have faded, it could give them a slight antique or vintage effect. It also makes the viewer think about what the photograph is actually of, as sometimes it makes it more difficult to see, which I think can actually be an interesting technique.

1 comment:

  1. Rather than copying and pasting the technique I am interested in how you have used the technique to create your photographs! Please re-write.