I was sitting down in a coffee shop the other day, enjoying my coffee, editing my most recent photos, when I started looking around me and took a moment to think about what I was doing. Why was I editing this photo in this way rather than any other way?
I already know that by editing, I want to recreate what I see in an object, but how?
Why use some shade or blur on some and increase contrast and sharpness on others?
Scrapyard near Gatwick, London - June 2022
I went to visit a plane cemetary/scrapyard where I found some great shots. Everything was of course old and broken in some way.
When editing those photos I wanted to add a little bit of blur to emphasise the aged metal of the planes, cars, and everything else that was left there. But it looked somewhat wrong. So I tried doing the other way around. I usually like deep contrasts and dark colours, but what looked like an abandonned scarpyard reminded me of an old American town, which are often portrayed in faded colours, which is what I wanted to recreate this time.
I realised that by sharpening these photos, I was creating a bigger contrast : the clarity of the photo seemed to clash with the aged object itself which, to me, made me feel like it appeared even more aged.
On the contrary, I sometimes like to add some shade to a more recent looking subject in order to give an eerie look, to give a feel of a place that is actually full of stories that have ended.
I personally love the visual codes of western films and quiet places that give me time to think and imagine what could have happened where I am standing, far from noises and daily pressures. I am from the south of France where the sun shines and summers are all yellow with burnt grass and where in the countryland we can find lots of ancient and abandonned buildings with some old commercials painted onto them.
Those buildings have a history and are part of a past which makes me wonder what was and this is the type of mood I sometimes want to make visible when I take photos and edit them. By editing, I don't know if I am getting closer or further from reality, but maybe this doesn't matter, I am close to my own reality and that is what I want to share with the viewer. And I hope that the viewer can find a little bit of their own reality in my photos.
And after thinking and writing about all this, I realised that my coffee went cold...
So enough writing for the day, back to editing, capturing... and ordering a new coffee.