Photography – March 13, 2022
By Ron Munden
About five years ago I took a week off to attend the Texas School of Professional Photography. The school is conducted once each year in the Dallas area. It offers some 30 to 40 classes on a wide variety of subjects. As I recall about 1500 people attended the year I went.
I wanted to take training on a subject that I knew almost nothing about. I selected a course on fine-art photography. The class was taught by award-winning fine-art photographer Thom Rouse. He is Chicago based and has been photographing professionally since 1994.
Thom’s book, After the Camera – Digital Transformations for Conceptual Nude and Portrait Photography served as the” textbook”/ inspiration for this class. All the class work was done using Photoshop. Although, I had been using Photoshop for over 30 years, this class was the most challenging class have taken since I got out of graduate school in 1970.
I am very impressed by Thom’s work and decided I was going to commit time to increasing my understanding of the process and working to create images similar to those in Tom’s book. Of course, then I returned to the real world I completely lost sight of the goal.
And then came March 2020 bringing the COVID pandemic to this country. My full plate quickly became an empty plate. I had spare time and nowhere to go. I dusted off the class notes that I took in Dallas and began to work on blending images.
Now I produce simple blended images or Thom might say, “digital transformations for conceptual nude and portrait photography.”
My images are still very simple. My images usually involve 5 to 20 layers and I can produce up to 3 images during the hour that I devote to this project most days. Thom’s creations involve 40 to 100s of layers and take him days if not weeks to complete. The quality of his work reflects the care and time he puts into creating with final product.
I sold my first photos and became a street artist in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1970. With the exception of one period of about three years when I put my camera away, I have shot continuously for over 50 year. Some of those years I shot over 40,000 images but I do not think I have done anything creative in the last 15 years.
Although my blended images are simple and sometimes amateurish, I feel like I am being creative and will continue down this road. Look out Thom – I am only 90 layers behind you!
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