Photography is a medium that prides itself on realism – even hyper-realism at times. I like it when that realism borders on abstract, for example in patterns, or in perspectives that hide what is actually being seen. Photographers have always experimented with the boundaries of the medium and that continues to this day. In addition, different photographic applications call for different kinds of processing. For example, astro-photographers are always trying to figure out how to capture more light and they’ve developed post-production techniques to help them deal with the effects of digital noise.
Like most people (photographers included), I knew nothing about this until I started researching the techniques of Pep Ventosa, who has created a whole new genre of abstract and expressionist photography by applying the same techniques used by astro-photographers to reduce digital noise. As it turns out, in Photoshop, you can very easily combine or “stack” a whole bunch of photographs and then using a choice of algorithms, combine them to create an single image “average”. Without going into details, this is one of the ways astro-photographers create clearer images of celestial objects. It’s also the basic post-production technique used by Ventosa to combine multiple shots in order to create his unique images.
Borrowing from Ventosa’s examples, I’ve used this same technique in most of these images to create several different effects. The results are clearly photography, yet not quite photography at the same time. In some cases, they almost look like watercolor paintings.