One of the best things about instant photography is the way the film lends itself to being manipulated by hand. These techniques can be challenging, but they also a great part of the charm of this type of photography. That is one of the things that allows us to make truly one-of-a-kind pieces of art.
So, today, I will show you an example of "before" and "after." Let's start with after. I happen to find it more interesting, but you can judge for yourself.
This photo collage was made by placing washed, positive, color transparencies over the top of black and white base photos, one that was just a photo of lace, the other, hand-written text. The pansies had been pressed, and when dried, attached to the photos to playfully echo the little pots of pansies in the foreground of each photo. I like the softness of the colors and the dreamy mood given by the transparencies.
Next, the originals...
And while I love the golden tones of these photos, the others images send my imagination on a voyage in a way that is completely different. I like how the flowers and the body flow into one another, as if the legs had become the stem, or the flowers had become the torso and the face. It further reinforces the metaphor of femininity as a flower, playing on juxtapositions of strength and fragility, on the ephemeral nature of the life of all things.
These photos are stripped down to their bare essence and rebuilt, thanks to the magic of scotch crystal tape. Reconstructing photos with transparencies, playing with different compositions, layering them over different photos, depending on how I am feeling that given day, all of this hands-on work is one of my favorite parts of instant photography. I love seeing the white stuff that separates the positive and negative halves of the photo come off with a wipe from the sponge. I like the smooth feel of the transparencies after they have dried. And I love the process of arranging and changing things around, of rebuilding photos again and again as new possibilities emerge. And in this case. the possibilities truly are endless.
Until next time...