Visual Narrative #030-Images of the Imagination

VN #030: Images of the Imagination
Posted June 9, 2024


Reality and Images of the Imagination

In today’s age of digital photography, we often think of creative expression as involving ICM, layers, masking, and sky replacement. I’d like to share four images; all have a full moon, all were made using film, and all were creations of my imagination.

Over the years at my Studio Gallery, each of these images has been a popular seller as both art cards and photographic prints.

By using different styles of photographic expression, I have come to see and understand reality in new and different ways. When I look at reality, I now ask myself, what is it? What am I looking at?

St. Saviour’s Church by full moon.

When viewers looked at this print on the gallery wall, some saw the church lit by the light of the moon as reality. Others recognized that the moon was behind the church and could not, therefore, light up the front of the church.

I imagined this image in the reality of my mind and then set about making it. It was a complicated process which involved math, making the first image of the church in mid-afternoon when the sun lit up the front of the church, removing the roll of film from my camera without making another image, and finally, storing the film  in a safe place until there was a clear full moon night. In the case of the above image, I had to wait six months for that clear dark night. Only then could I re-insert the film into my camera, move the film to the exact spot of the original church exposure, and shoot the full moon with a lens focal length that would give me the size of moon I had imagined for the final composition. Any miscalculation along that chain of events would have ruined the outcome.

Teepees by full moon.

Canoe Moonscape.

The three images above involved the same procedure. Each time after making the first exposure, I would draw out my final composition on a piece of paper and attach it to the stored roll of film. It showed exactly where I wanted to place the moon and what size I wanted the moon to be in the final photograph.

Full moon over the grasslands.

This image of the imagination took only one night to create, as I made both exposures from the same location under a crystal-clear sky. I only had to wait from the hour of sunset (first exposure of the chosen grass) to the darkest part of the night for the moon exposure.

The main tool by which I created these images was my imagination. Each photograph contains a mysterious reality that was hidden in my imagination.

As I reflect on these images, I now get to explore the reality and rediscover the mystery.


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