I have been a busy bee this past week. I'm in the middle of a collaboration with my boyfriend -- our first collaboration ever -- which I will hopefully feature here next week, and I've been looking for fresh photo ideas here on Lomography and also on Flickr.
I love browsing through Flickr. I know, I know. Most people on that site use digital cameras and heavily Photoshop their photos. But you gotta admit, there are some real talent there, really gifted photographers that produce images that move and inspire.
I especially love looking at the artistic and conceptual portraits, which are very much abundant on Flickr, and draw inspiration from them. Some of the portrait photographers that I follow on Flickr often apply grunge-style textures on their photos, giving them a darker and more mysterious look.
I love that grungy texturized look so much; in fact, that I actually learned how to do them on Photoshop, as shocking and scandalous as that may sound to all you film loyalists out there. Of course, I still wanted to get those texturized results the analogue way and the first alternative that popped into my head was by employing transparency masks.
I had gotten quite adept at making masks, not that they’re particularly hard to make anyway. All I needed for this project were images of textures, which can be easily obtained from Google (No really, I’m serious! Just type in http://images.google.com on your Web browser and then search for “texture backgrounds”! You’ll get thousands of results!). After I found 6 images that I liked, I simply followed the steps in my mask tutorial that I wrote, except I designed these masks to fit the square frame inside my Lubitel.
Once I got my masks, I simply slapped them — one at a time of course — onto my Lubitel frame, put on a roll, and started shooting portraits at home and in two of my favorite spots in Los Angeles: on Highway 39, which I wrote about here, and around the tide pools of Abalone Cove in Palos Verdes (see some photos here).
I am quite happy with these first results. I definitely wielded some pretty interesting results. But there’s room for improvement. I feel like I need to make the textures more subtle, which can easily be done by adjusting down the transparency of the images before printing.
This means you’ll probably be seeing more of these images from me in the coming days.
All photographs taken by Michelle Rae. She lives, breathes, and haunts in the City of Angeles.